The Ghana Society of Radiography (GSR) has raised alarm over moves by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to use biomedical engineers as radiographers.
In the view of GSR, the move by GHS poses serious threats to the country’s healthcare delivery.
GSR argued further that the decision by to train biomedical engineers in ten days and allow them to work as radiographers in government healthcare providing facilities was “illegal and a waste of the tax payers’ money.”
According to GSR, there are many professional radiographers in this country and could, therefore, not fathom why biomedical engineers would be engaged to do the work of radiographers.
The society said to qualify 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.
In this regard, the GSR condemned GHS move. National President of GSR, Mr Prince Rockson, at a press briefing in Accra, urged the ministry of health and stakeholders in the sector to intervene and save the country’s healthcare delivery.
He said his outfit in 2016 was 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 factor in the 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 Mr Rockson, his outfit is not the least enthused about the GHS move since they were professionals in that field, and had to be engaged by the leadership of the GHS.
He disclosed that GSR and GHS 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.
That approach, he said, was vehemently resisted by his association.
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 GSR 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-ray examinations, including government hospitals, and advise them to do due diligence by finding out whether the personnel were qualified and licensed by the Allied Health Professions Council to practice.”
He, however, said the GHS backed their argument, saying there were 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.
Against this background, GSR threatened they will resort to legal court action if GHS goes ahead with its plan.
Story & Picture: Freeman KORYEKPOR AWLESU
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