Society decries alarming low number of radiographers in Ghana

The Ghana Society of RadioGraphers has bemoaned the inadequate number of professional radiographers to man the various health facilities in Ghana.
According to the database of the Ghana Society of RadioGraphers, about 250 radiographers are currently rendering various Intensive-Modulated Radiation Therapy services to a country of about 27 million people – one radiographer to 111,600 people
The acute shortage of radiographers, the Society said has resulted in orphan institutions: institutions without radiographers to manage equipment and take care of patients.
At the Annual Biennial National Congress and Scientific Conference in Tamale to drum home challenges confronting radiographers, the outgoing President of the Ghana Society of RadioGraphers, Reverend James Ampofo has described the gap as alarming.
“The ratio of radiographers in second and third and level health facilities stands at one hundred and forty radiographers to three hundred and fifty eight health facilities. This is expressed as a single radiography professional was providing radiographic service for more than two districts, regional or tertiary hospitals. Very alarming.”
The low workforce he said has compelled several health facilities to employ the services of quack radiographers.
“One of the effect of this low radiography workforce is orphan institutions. These are health facilities with radiological installations but no qualified RadioGraphers or Radiological Technicians to attend to patients”.
They are therefore calling on government to put up measures to bridge the yawning gap between demand and availability of services.
With 60 percent of the 250 professional radiographers stationed in the Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions, facilities in the remaining eight regions depend on the forty percent to handle health care.
According to the Northern Regional Chairman of the Ghana Society of RadioGraphers Sampson Batsa, “only three of the eight hospitals with X-ray equipment have permanent Radiographers.
“This implies that the rest have their X-ray facilities being manned by locum personnel, quack personnel or equipment are not being used at all”.
The twenty graduates per annum that successfully graduate from the Kwame Nkrumah University for Science and Technology and the University of Ghana, Legon, the only two institutions that offers training in radiography, has been described as woefully inadequate.
On employment into public hospitals, Mr. Sampson Batsa say radiographers after graduating are not absorbed into public hospitals by government due to delay in clearance from the finance ministry.
He is calling on government to ensure graduates of radiography are provided employment by government to increase the workforce in public health facilities.
Outstanding radiographers were honoured for their selfless contribution to quality health care delivery.
By Zubaida Ismail |

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