That's true, of course - and my areas of ignorance only grow with time.
But many of the "clinics" here (like the biggest MS clinic in our province) are really just a few rooms where specialists meet patients in existing medical facilities.
And the standard facility costs are, well, standard. Hospitals and Universities shift space (and staff) around according to demand all the time. In the small (half-successful) experience I have lobbying about medical matters, it was the unusual costs that we needed to explain and justify. Just as I wouldn't feel I would have to provide my own numbers about the financial benefits per visitor to the province.
Maybe getting some organization (oh, say, a national MS society…) to build a free-standing specialized CCSVI facility will eventually be useful. But that's where we need to start.
If a politician can say to health bureaucrats, "look, we know it only costs X to get the the specialized training, and only X to get the equipment," then the area of discussion is pretty contained. And it becomes harder to ignore constituents with that suggestion.
Back when I thought I "only" had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I was part of a CFS group who met with our deputy premier about a similar matter. To be honest, that wasn't the time that was half-successful (maybe it would have been if there had there only been some recent, highly publicized, revolutionary, yet fairly simple and clear diagnostic procedure for CFS
) - but having preliminary numbers to suggest what a modest investment it would be vs. the size of the problem was what made him shift from humouring us with boilerplate to actually engaging with the problem.
I wouldn't go into such a meeting without reviewing information about salaries for radiologists and ultrasound technicians - along with press releases about other recent provincial health initiatives ("government announces $24,000 for pilot program on dentistry and self-esteem") - but really it's only the special costs I would worry about providing at such a preliminary point. I don't know why I had it in my head that the ultrasound equipment was extraordinarily expensive, but (thanks cah!) that's essentially trivial.
Surely (in terms of the provincial health budget) sending people to Italy for three days of training would be trivial too, but details always help sell an argument - anybody heard any?
Maybe we could try shaming them by saying MS patients would raise those dollars ourselves...