Biomedical engineers as radiographers, threat to health care delivery - GSR

Tuesday 23rd April, 2019
Health Unqualified Radiographers

By Kodjo Adams, GNA

Accra, April 23, GNA - The Ghana Society of Radiography (GSR) on Tuesday said training biomedical engineers in ten days by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to work as radiographers poses serious threat to the country’s healthcare delivery.

The Society said to be qualified as a radiographer according to the Health Profession Regulatory Bodies Act, 2013 (Act 857), that person must have undergone a rigorous training in an accredited University for four years and licensed by a professional body.

The Society sees the action of the GHS to train biomedical engineers in ten days to work as radiographers as illegal and must be condemned by all and sundry to save the lives of the citizenry.

Mr Prince Rockson, GSR National President, at a press briefing in Accra urged the Ministry of Health and stakeholders in the sector to intervene and save the country’s health care delivery.

He said the Society was in 2016 informed by the National Tuberculosis Programme Directorate about the deployment of digital X-ray equipment to Ghana for the Tuberculosis (TB) case detection project.

He said the project did not factored in human resource to handle the machine until the equipment started arriving, then the GHS quickly went to the National Radiographers Authority to grant them a waiver to enable them train people of whatever background in only radiation safety.

According to the GSR National President, the Society were not satisfied with the move since they were the professionals in that field, and had to engaged the leadership of the GHS and agreed that 45 radiographers be submitted for onward submission to the Ministry of Finance for financial clearance.

However, it emerged that in August 2018, some biomedical engineers were shortlisted to be trained for ten days to do the work of licensed allied health practitioners, but the Society vehemently resisted the approach.

Mr Rockson said as a result of the altercation, the project was halted until April 2019 when financial clearance was given for 20 radiographers and 24 for biomedical engineers through the effort of GHS.

He said the Society cannot comprehend why biomedical engineers should be trained for only ten days to work as qualified radiographers.

“The radiographers are warning the public to be careful of places they go for x-rays examinations, including government hospitals, and advise them to do due diligence by finding out whether the personnel is qualified and licensed by the Allied Health Professions Council to practice”.

He however said the GHS backed their argument saying there was inadequate personnel, to which he disagreed, saying there were more than ten interns of radiographers from the University of Ghana who could be given the opportunity than biomedical engineers.

The Society threatened court action if all attempts to prevent the GHS from employing the biomedical engineers who have been trained for only ten days to operate some digital X-ray equipment installed across the country fails.

GNA