A workshop on ‘Quality assurance and radiation safety in diagnostic imaging', organised by the Directorate of Radiation Safety, has called for improved radiation safety in health care settings to enhance protection of patients and healthcare workers.

Inaugurating the workshop here on Saturday, Health Secretary Usha Titus said there should be a public health approach to minimising health risks from wide use of radiation in medicine.

“Evaluation of possible health hazards among healthcare workers is needed. No comprehensive study has been done in Kerala in this area,” she said.

She stated that the recent discovery of radioactive material in the Mayapuri industrial area of West Delhi had pointed to the need for radiation protection laws.

“Healthcare workers are mostly unaware of radiation safety measures. For instance, an air-conditioner was found in an X-ray chamber in a health centre recently. The authorities did not know this was forbidden. Considering an increasing number of CT scan centres in the State, the Health Department even thought of a moratorium on permits for such units. We know of the alleged nexus between doctors and such centres. A glut of centres may cause lesser adherence to rules,” she said.

The Health Secretary called upon the agencies involved in radiological procedures to maintain high standards.

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