A Radiologist, Dr Ododo Benard, has urged the Federal and State Governments to establish more functional radiological equipment in public tertiary health institutions for effective emergency care services.
Benard, who is also the Chairman Ad hoc Committee on Radio Diagnostics and Radiation Medicine, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), made the call on Wednesday on the sidelines of 2017 International Day of Radiology.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the International Day of Radiology, celebrated every November 8, coincides with the anniversary of the discovery of x-rays.
It is an annual event promoting the role of medical imaging in modern healthcare.
The 2017 celebration is the 6th Edition with the theme: “Emergency Radiology”.
Benard told NAN in Lokoja that the Computed Tomographic (CT) scan machines were not available in most tertiary institutions and where available they were not functional.
According to him, most Federal Medical Centres, Specialist Hospitals and Specialized Care or Trauma Centres 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 the expected standard.
“The lack or non functional state of most high technology radiological or radio therapeutic equipment in public tertiary institution needs urgent attention to uphold this specialty.
“This is because only limited number of health institutions 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 accurate diagnosis and saving critical time for urgent intervention in emergency cases.
“Some patients with head injuries need CT scan before neurosurgical intervention,” Benard said.
He urged government at the 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.
Benard said every state should at least have three functional CT scanners, adding that the Public Private Partnership (PPP) modality could help in view of dwindling resources of government.
He said: “Some states that are gateway 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 the radiologists and oncologists in the advances of emergency radiological care services and emergency care management.
“We educate Nigerians on need to stay healthy, abide by rules of road use, avoid violent crises and keep up with regular medical appointments with their doctors to avoid emergency complications.”