In February 2017 Mr Jeff Yurek sponsors me for a news conference at Queen’s Park regarding the issues related to blocking Mobile PET/CT by Liberals. Also at conference are Ms. Gelinas, and Mr. Bill Walker, the PC Critic for Seniors and Long Term Care.
I am asked by “Carol’s” Oncologist to give an opinion of the patient’s imaging management for cervical cancer which will consider other indications for payment by government. I outline to PET ACCESS the new approach I will be taking, in particular since I don’t agree with how they assess PET, that they will answer the patients questions regarding how decisions will be made about her getting PET as well as her management in general. They will only allow PET/CT after her staging by CT and MR and her radical radiation therapy to her pelvis. Alarmed by the prospect of having to answer patient’s questions, they inform me I am not allowed to order PET/CT exams. I ask them for documentation showing this to be the case. The PET/CT after therapy shows that she was Stage IV from day one and the mutilating radiation therapy to her pelvis never should have happened. They continue to refuse to acknowledge and respond to questions from “Carol” or supply documents backing their claims about me not ordering PET.
CCO Senior Executive contact the hospital I was working at and tell them to shut me down, or I will no longer be able to work at this hospital. I contact several people including the Mr. Ralliaram, the Chairman of the CCO Board of Directors. Mr. Ralliaram replies.
I also write Dr. Michael Sherar the CEO and President of Cancer Care Ontario, as well as Dr. Robin McLeod who is Vice-President and head of Quality Control.
In the meantime, Carol is deteriorating so I write Mr. Ralliaram a second time. I also write PET ACCESS offering an olive branch to do what’s best for Ontario’s patients. I get a letter with no documents but offering a false reason why I can’t order PET, not to mention the fact that I am one of the patient’s physicians! I then respond to the letter from CCO Executives.
In addition I have sent the major CCO Committee’s assigned to assess PET and saying, among other things, we all agree there is no scientific validity to justify using health technology to assess PET or any other imaging device, so how do they justify using it? In addition I state that if they are all so proud of how they assess PET would they support me demand to finally have the 2005 motions demanding an independent review by Canadian experts in Ethics and Health policy to assess the “moral and ethical” actions of the Ontario PET Experiments on cancer patients. This was the letter to Dr Ur Metser, Chairman of the PET Steering Committee. This was his response.
This is the letter to Dr Mark Levine, head of the Ontario Clinical Oncology Group [OCOG]. It was OCOG that sponsored the PET PREDICT Trial on women with early stage breast cancer that would lead to motions declaring the PET Trials as “unethical”. In his response he considers my request for him to defend the actions of OCOG as “unprofessional and harassing”.
Here is the letter sent to Dr. Julian Dobranowski, Provincial Head of Imaging for Cancer Care Ontario. This was his response.
I wrote Dr Andreas Laupacis who was the first President and CEO of the Institute of Clinical Oncology. Their first report was the one that used the medical poster on a couple of pieces of bristol board to reduce the recommendations of 40,000 patients would benefit from PET, to ZERO patients would benefit. He is the only I would write who offers a defense for the use of health technology assessment [HTA]. He doesn’t offer any scientific evidence to validate the HTA, but like assessing PET by CCO was a religion, “HE BELIEVES” there is role for the HTA, and states how proud he is of his work. Dr. Michael Sherar proposes that I come to Toronto and meet with CCO. This is my first response to his email. After thinking about it and noting, that no one from CCO has said to me that the threats against my hospital privileges were just a misunderstanding, so I decline to meet.
In February I contact the Office of Ms. Christine Elliott, Ontario’s first Patient Ombudsman. I meet with her at her office in April and she is accompanied by the Ombudsman Lawyer. After the meeting I was ‘hopeful’ since Ms. Elliott seemed quite shocked at what she was hearing. I would then send the “lawyer” every document I had relevant to the issues on PET in general, and about the patients I was presenting to Ms. Elliott for her to assess: letter 1, letter 2, letter 3
However, it soon becomes apparent that Ms. Elliott has had a change of heart and I get no response to repeated emails, or when I do, just promises things will be dealt with. In September I write Ms. Elliott. Still no response, and as I am drafting a second letter I get news that Carol has died in the hospice. Carol’s nightmare in the Ontario public hospital system was entirely because her physicians were forced by CCO “Standards” to treat investigate her with “substandard” imaging methods. Ms Elliott will dismiss everything that happened to Carol as either representing “Excellent Care for All” or not covered in her mandate, and of no concern to her.
In September I receive a registered letter from the Registrar’s Office of my licensing body, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario saying they are initiating an investigation on my work in Sudbury and Thunder Bay. It is not clear whether this has been triggered by patient complaints, or my activism on PET. In December they make it clear. Cancer Care Ontario has complained about my efforts to get PET for patients. Although I will cover in detail on the news media’s efforts to protect the government from criticism on PET, I had approached Mr. Steve Paikin who is one of Canada’s top paid news anchors and hosts the TVO show, THE AGENDA.
We are living in a time where there is a long overdue discussion about what some have called FAKE NEWS. I have dealt with the media for over 35 years and I have yet to meet a ‘professional journalist’ that I could trust or respect. News is “fake” but I think a better term is “AGENDA DRIVEN NEWS since this makes clear how the news will be fake. Mr. Paikin will interview Dr. Hoskins, Mr. Dube our Ombudsman and Ms. Christine Elliott the Patient Ombudsman. He is fully aware of each of their efforts to make victims of Ontario’s cancer patients. Yet as you will see, MR PAIKIN WILL NOT TOUCH THIS NEWS STORY. I think the title of the show, THE AGENDA, is perfect. You can decide for yourselves.
Mr. Stephen Skyvington made numerous contacts with the producers of the AGENDA to have me on the show and I was put in touch with Ms Hilary Clark their ‘Editorial Gatekeeper’ and Mr. Harrison Lowman, the Producer. Here are some communications: initial email, first and second letter to Ms. Clark, and first letter to Mr. Lowman. Mr Lowman later contacts me saying he sent the MOH a series of questions, and asked me to comment on their response. Here are the MOH responses. In particular note the blatant ‘alternative truth’ about me being the only one to criticize the MOH since 2010. The major condemning TRIUMF article about how Ontario handled PET was published in 2011.
This is commentary on the letter from the MOH. It eventually becomes clear they will not touch these issues, so this is my final letter to The Agenda team. Keep in mind that Ontario taxpayers are paying Mr. Paikin’s and THE AGENDA Team’s salaries so that they can do what we all know “our professional journalists and news anchors’ do, They are there to shield the government from criticism. It is because of this reason that I am making a special effort to try and make PET a key election issue, IN SPITE OF THE BEST EFFORTS OF PEOPLE LIKE PAIKIN and the rest of “our most trusted sources of news and information.”