By Felicia Imohimi
The Association of Radiologists of Nigeria (ARIN) has expressed concern over the shortage of radiologists in the health system.
It urged the Federal Government to urgently address the dearth because of its importance to the wellbeing of citizens.
Dr Kamaldeen Jimoh, Consultant Radiologist and Vice President 1 of ARIN disclosed this in Abuja.
Jimoh and members of the association paid an advocacy visit on Dr Wellington Ohikhokhai, Senior Consultant, Zenith Radiological Services Limited and Laboratory, Abuja.
He said that the visit was part of the association’s activities to commemorate World Radiology Day (IDoR) an annual event marked on every Nov. 8.
The theme for 2018 is “Cadiac Imaging”.
Jimoh, who estimated the number of radiologists in the country as 400, described it as grossly inadequate to meet the requirements of the populace.
He said that in spite of this, large number of the professionals in the country were either planning to live or had already left.
The consultant attributed the challenge of brain drain to poor remuneration, welfare package and obsolete equipment among others.
According to him, this challenge has further contributed to the rate of death associated with cancer because a lot of such cases are presented late.
”We have about 400 radiologists in the country which is grossly inadequate to take care of the radiological requirements of the country and the few we have are either living or planning to live.
“We have shortage of manpower which means the country need to train more specialists in the field.
“We urge the government to ensure regulation to curb the exodus of manpower in health sector so that we do not produce these professionals to enrich health system in other countries.
“Government should ensure improved remuneration and welfare package for medical personnel as well as provision of right and standard equipment among others.
“Through such measures radiological services can be extended to rural or semi-urban areas which bears the highest burden of health challenges but lack such services,” he said.
Jimoh noted that the 2018 IDoR was set aside to raise awareness about the advancement that have been made in cardiac (heart) imaging.
It was also to appreciate all professionals that have contributed over the years to cardiac imaging as well as to sensitise the public on consulting radiologists with their heart related issues.
Similarly, Dr Olubunmi Olatunji, the immediate past President of ARIN speaking on the year’s theme “Cardiac imaging”, said it was aimed at highlighting the vital role of the heart to the body.
Olatunji noted that imaging revealed most of the diseases of the heart before they could adequately be treated.
According to her, the impact of imaging is celebrated to appreciate the advancement made over the years from ordinary X-ray to Computed Tomography (CT).
“Radiologists make diagnosis of diseases and also screen for cancers by performing and evaluating X-rays (plain films), Ultrasound scan, Computed Tomography(CT), MRI, Interventional radiology, Nuclear medicine, Mammography, angiography among others.
“The IDoR is an annual event aimed at building greater awareness of the value that radiology contributes to safe patient care, and improving understanding of the vital role radiologists and radiological technologist play in the healthcare continuum,” she said.
Also, Ohikhokhai, Senior Consultant, Zenith Radiological Services Limited and Laboratory decried the cost of radiological services.
He said that this had contributed to the rate of death associated to cancer and heart diseases in the country.
He stated that poverty and lack of enlightenment has denied many Nigerians the opportunity to conduct the mandatory screening for heart related diseases.
According to him, there is the need for health insurance coverage for Nigerians to ensure quality and effective health care services.