By Aderogba George
The Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, has challenged radiologists to identify challenges impeding data security to address increased cases of litigations from patients against members.
The minister gave the charge on Monday in Abuja at the 6th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Scientific Conference of Association of Radiologists in Nigeria (ARIN) and 60th AGM of Association of Radiologists in West Africa (ARAWA).
Represented by Dr Jimoh-Olawale Salaudeen, Special Assistant to the minister, Pate identified challenges like manpower deficit, poorly regulated radiology practice in the country and inadequate technology innovation.
He said “you are all witnesses to the increasing litigations in our practice arising from patients’ awareness of their rights and privileges.
“Leakages of patients’ information must be guarded against seriously with every sense of responsibility, while appropriate and efficient technology is deployed to prevent miscreants from invading the system.
“The place of right diagnosis which radiology practice largely represents in the management of any disease condition must be appreciated.
“Government is working to produce middlemen to bridge the gap of manpower deficit; this must be done so as not to snowball into promotion of substandard.”
Pate explained that the ministry is committed to continued collaboration with ARIN, but charged the association to come up with implementable solutions to all the challenges.
The National President of ARIN, Prof. Sule Saidu, also called on Federal Government and other stakeholders to increase commitment to the improvement of service delivery, training and research in healthcare with a view to ensuring global best practices.
He said government’s commitment to improved health sector would certainly help to curtail health tourism, thus conserving the much- needed foreign exchange and hopefully help to reverse the trend.
Saidu called on government at various levels to pay more attention to the provision of more diagnostic equipment for radiology, adding that “it is only when diagnosis is correct that proper treatment can be assured.”
He said that with more attention from the government to the health sector, brain drain would be reduced, as the lack of state-of-the-art facilities was part of the issues causing health workers’ migration.
Dr Agaja James, the Chairman of ARIN, FCT/Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the event, said “medical practitioners in Africa are reducing in numbers day by day because of the advancement in technology and economic problems ravaging the world.”
He said majority of medical practitioners have migrated from rural areas to cities in Sub-Saharan region and that many had also gone beyond the shore of Africa.
James called on government to find lasting solution to the trend to save the health sector. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu