By Kitts D.Mabonga
The government has been challenged to increase funding support to the exclusive medical sector of Radiology because disturbing scientific research indicates that of every 100 patients visiting a health centre over 80% of them require clinical Radiology services.
Worse still the country has a paltry 60 qualified Radiologists of whom five have retired leaving only 55 to attend to the current population of 40 million people a position many experts describe as lack of seriousness on the part of government to fix the numbers.
The shocking development came to light on Thursday during the official opening of a three day 15th annual Association of Radiologists of Uganda (ARU) conference that was held at the new Mulago specialized women and Neonatal hospital complex in Kawempe division.
The Association president Dr.Bugeza Samuel told the media on the sidelines of the high powered conference that they are faced with a big shortage of experts in their professional field of work as out of the official 60 qualified Radiologists the country has, five have retired leaving a balance of 55 of whom some are threatening to seek for kyeyo outside the country due to poor renumeration.
Dr.Bugeza shocked the country when he revealed that they need at least 150 new radiologists to be able to cover all the major regional referral hospitals as all the 55 are currently hooked up in Kampala distributed among private hospitals and government’s only facility at Mulago respectively.
The Association secretary general Dr.Nassanga Rita welcomed a delegation from Kenya that comprised Dr.Alfred Odhiambo, Dr.Edward Chege and Prof.Wanga Henry for sharing with them very vital information about the new technological advancement in the field of radiology.
“As a country we strongly thank our brothers from Kenya that made it to this very important conference and accepting to share with us very important insights of our profession “ noted Rita before promising to continue promoting the true spirit of East Africanism for the better of the profession.
He explained that their department deals with using strong magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology to see,detect and treat patients through use of scan, x ray and other imaging technologies as opposed to deploying surgical operation on patients.
“We deploy MRI technology to see the impact of injury on patients involved in accidents like damage to head,neck,bones and cancers that other medical personnel cannot easily see with plain eyes “ articulately explained Dr.Nassanga.
The ministry of health represented by Dr.Omona commissioner clinical services appreciated the big role being played by the Association members saying they would look around for funding support so that scholarships are extended to members.
He said it was important for government to prioritize the Radiology industry because it is very sensitive and requires adequate funding to meet the clinical needs of the patients adding that they just have one Radiology facility at Mulago which can’t meet all the country’s needs.