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Diagnostic Services in Ontario: Descriptive Analysis and Jurisdictional Review


Modern diagnostic testing services offer the potential for significant health benefits, and technological advances have been accompanied by a rapid proliferation of these services. Yet, it remains unclear as to whether the marked increases in utilization are sustainable, consistent with increased medical need, or a wise allocation of limited resources.

This report provides a description of the delivery of 31 different diagnostic services—focusing on diagnostic imaging—in Ontario from 1996/97 to 2005/06. Specifically, trends in testing over time, demographic trends, geographic variation, and patterns of repeat testing are presented. The delivery of diagnostic services, including utilization, cost and appropriateness, in several jurisdictions is also reviewed in order to highlight overall policy options for Ontario.



You JJ, Alter DA, Iron K, Slaughter PM, Kopp A, Przybysz R, Thiruchelvam D, Devore L, Laupacis A. April 2007

Contributing ICES Scientists

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