The Nigeria Medical Association has urged the Federal and State Government to provide functional radiological equipment in public tertiary institutions for effective emergency care services across the country.
The National Chairman of Adhoc Committee on Radiodiagnostics and Radiation Medicine, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Dr Ododo Benard, made the call on Wednesday, on the sidelines of “2017 International Day of Radiology (IDOR)”.
The radiologist told journalist in Lokoja that the Computed Tomographic (CT) scan machines were not available, and where they did, were in non functional state in most tertiary institutions.
According to him, most Federal Medical Centers, Specialist Hospitals, and Specialized Care or Trauma Centers are under this category.
“This is what medical practice is all about In Nigeria, because the number of diagnostic radiologists and therapeutic radiologists (oncologist) is still far below expected standard.
“The lack or non functional state of most high tech radiological or radiotherapeutic equipment in public tertiary institution need to be given urgent attention should we uphold this specialty.
“This is because only limited number of health institution meets the minimum requisite demand by the postgraduate colleges for training of this vital and important specialty.
“We need to evaluate the importance of radiology in the accurate diagnosis and saving critical time for urgent intervention in emergency cases that will give a meaningful outcome to the patient – saving that valued life.
“Some patients, like head injured patient needs CT scan before neurosurgical intervention, needed to be moved on a road journey of over two hours to acquire the vital emergency radiological investigation.
“Most time, the critical time we needed to save for a better outcome will not be attained,” Benard said.
The doctor, therefore on behalf of the NMA, urged government at national and state levels to have a critical look at the situation and if possible declared a state of emergency on the need to strengthen emergency care services in the hospitals.
He restated that every state should at least have three functional CT scanners, stressing that Public Private Partnership (PPP) modality could help in view of dwindling resources of government.
He added, “Some states that are gate way to millions of road travelers lack CT scanner, victim of RTA needing emergency radiological services are at the mercy of God.
“There is also need for continuous training and retraining of doctors especially radiologists and oncologists in the recent advances of emergency radiological care services, and emergency care management.
“On this day, we educate Nigerians on need to stay healthy, abide by rules of road use, avoid violent crises and keep up with their regular medical appointments with their doctors to avoid emergency complications”.