Help us sub-specialise Radiologists appeal to govt
Radiologists have appealed to the government to make scholarships available to them to enable them to sub-specialise in the various areas of the practice.
The President of the Ghana Association of Radiologists (GAR), Dr Ewurama Andam Idun, who made the appeal, said out of about 84 radiologists in the country, only one had sub-specialised in interventional radiology, with the rest being general practitioners.
She made the appeal at the opening of the seventh Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Ghana Association of Radiologists (GAR) in Accra last Thursday.
Dr Idun explained that sub-specialisation would build the competence of the radiologists in specific fields of the practice, making them experts which would ultimately improve healthcare delivery in the country.
She gave the example of how ideal it would be for a paediatric radiologist to work on a child instead of a general radiologist since children were different.
“There are childhood cancers and a general radiologist may miss it because he is not a paediatric radiologist.
“Apart from the interventional radiologist, we also have another person training to be a neuro radiologist. The training cannot be done in Ghana, it has to be done outside the country and it is very expensive. That is why we want the government to help us,” she said.
The three-day AGM is underway at Ada in the Dangme East District on the theme “Radiological Imaging – an indispensable tool in evidence based medicine.”
It has attracted radiologists from all over the country, as well as radiographers and students training to become radiologists.
Three radiologists from the United States of America (USA) — Professor Orpheus Kolokythas, Dr Mortani-Barbosa and Professor W. Gedroyce — were also at the AGM to share information on emerging trends in radiology with the participants.
Dr Idun described radiology as a distinct medical speciality which played a vital role in health care.
“It is now the key diagnostic tool for many diseases and also has that important role in monitoring treatment and predicting outcomes. We pride ourselves as being the doctors’ doctor,” she said.
Dr Idun, however, called on medical centres to desist from employing foreign radiologists who had not been licensed by the Medical and Dental Council (MDC) or recognised by the College of Physicians and Surgeons.
She said although the rationale behind the hiring of foreign radiologists was to have specialist radiologists, the necessary requirements for the practice in Ghana needed to be satisfied.
She further appealed to the Health Facilities Regulatory Authority (HFRA) to work with the GAR to structure the setup requirement for operating a radiological centre.
“This will ensure that the right people are in place, the right equipment are being used and the appropriate images and reports are being produced,” she said.
A senior radiologist at the 37 Military Hospital, Dr Kofi Amedi, said there was the need for the government to invest more in radiology, describing it as the backbone of healthcare delivery.
“The equipment used in radiology is expensive and, therefore, the radiological examinations are also expensive. This puts a lot of pressure on patients,” he said.