July 13, 2009

Misdiagnosis audit takes longer than hoped

Saskatchewan health officials say it's going to take longer than anticipated to let anguished Canadian patients know if they were misdiagnosed.

Some 69,000 Canadian CT scans, mammograms and ultrasounds are being audited after it emerged that a radiologist who performed them may have been incompetent, leaving thousands of patients in limbo wondering if their diagnoses on everything from breast cancer to broken bones were correct, The (Toronto) Globe and Mail reported Monday.

But after deadline to complete the audit slipped by last week, the Sunrise Health Region of Yorkton, Sask., admitted the review is going to take longer than the 45 days first thought.

That 45-day goal was based on my estimation, and I take full responsibility for it, Joe Kirwan, the region's chief executive officer, told the newspaper. It wasn't well thought out. I do apologize to the people we serve for this. We should never have made that commitment. It was totally inappropriate because it wasn't based on fact.

The audit was triggered after it was found that diagnoses by Dr. Darius Tsatsi were found to have had a high incidence of disagreement with an expert medical panel, the Globe and Mail said.