Technetium shortage

18 September 2019

medical scan of hands showing hots spots

Australia is currently experiencing a shortage of Tc-99m, a substance commonly used in a number of nuclear medical tests.

This shortage will affect the volume of Tc-99m scans that can be undertaken in coming weeks. Where appropriate, your clinician will suggest alternative scans. Scans that will be most impacted are skeletal and myocardial scans. However, it will not impact normal medical imaging scans such as standard x-rays, CT scans and MRIs.

Patients are advised that clinicians are prioritising scans based on clinical need, and non-urgent scans will be deferred and rescheduled. Scans may also be brought forward in coming days to ensure optimal use of available resources – please try to accommodate these changes if possible.

This shortage is Australia-wide, and the Department of Health WA is working to manage this issue locally.

Patient care and safety is our priority. While the duration of the shortage is not known, patients will continue to receive high-quality healthcare, with alternative imaging tests provided as appropriate.

If you have any concerns, please speak to your healthcare provider.