By Dr Sarmad Syed
Many healthcare facilities and dental practices own X-ray equipment or other diagnostic radiological tools for many years without ever knowing if you have fulfilled the regulatory requirements. If that is the case then keep reading this article. It’s just for you!
Radiology has always formed an integral part of medicine. Hospitals having a strong radiology team are preferred based on the presumption of more accurate diagnoses. Dentistry has also progressed leaps and bounds with the introduction of radiology to aid diagnosis.
But do you know, your hospital has to go through a rigorous regulatory criterion before it can be licensed to setup a radiology department? This license is provided by the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority, which has been around since 2001, with an infrastructure that has been in place since 1965. It is the sole body that regulates and supervises all matters related to nuclear safety and radiation protection.
Currently, PNRA is regulating more than 5900 radiation facilities. These include 5170 diagnostic X-ray facilities, 88 medical facilities, 214 industrial facilities, 84 educational and research institutes, 144 importers and 203 other facilities.
PNRA regulations state that the annual radiation dose limit for a worker is 20mSv. Radiation doses of up to 50mSv in a single year may be permitted under special circumstances provided that the average dose over five consecutive years does not exceed 20mSv/year. Dose records of 14,700 workers of radiation facilities are maintained in PNRA database of which 54.53% are in diagnostic radiology.
Records for 2019 showed exposures for more than 99% of the workers to be within the regulatory limit of 20mSv.
PNRA licensing requirements
Applications are assessed and approved by PNRA if the following details are provided and their regulatory criteria are met:
- Applicant should be registered and the owner of the facility
- Specifications of the radiation generator
- Particulars of radiologists
- Details of available PPE
- Personal dose monitoring
- Type of dosimeter
- Dosimetry service provider name
- License fee
- Experience training certificates of radiation workers
- Shielding design of the facility
List of licensed Diagnostic radiology facilities
A list of radiation facilities with a valid license from PNRA is available on their website should you ever need to get a radiograph.
-The author is contributing writer at Medical News Pakistan and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org