The Ministry of Health has set up a teleradiology centre at Mulago National Referral Hospital to assist with the transmission of digital radiological images via CT scan machines located in Regional Referral Hospitals.
A CT scan is used to generate internal body images, including various parts such as bone structure, muscles, fat, organs, and blood vessels.
Despite the installation of 14 CT scans by the MOH last year across regional referral hospitals, operation is yet to be started due to an absence of specialist radiologists and validation from Uganda Atomic Energy Council (UAE).
Gulu Regional Referral Hospital Acting Principal Administrator James Ojwang stated that they’ve released vacancies for specialist radiologists but are yet to receive any feedback. Furthermore, two weeks ago a team from UAE visited the facility for inspection purposes. The hospital is now awaiting further instructions on how to start using their equipment.
He also notes that the facility lacks a specialist radiologist to operate the machine which has rendered it idle at the moment.“We don’t have a specialist to operate the machine at the moment, we have however advertised the position and still waiting for the feedback,” says Ogwang. Ogwang says a team from the Uganda Atomic Energy Council visited the facility two weeks ago for inspecting the CT Scans.
Dr. Nathan Onyach, the Lira Regional Referral Hospital Director said that the facility lacks a radiologist despite receiving a CT scanner from the Ministry. He says due to a lack of specialized medical equipment, the region has failed to attract specialist doctors.
Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Ministry of Health Senior Public Relations Officer said that some Referral Hospitals where the CT scan machines were installed lacked specialist radiologists.
He, however, says the Ministry has since created a centre where scan results conducted by an operator at the regional Referral Hospitals will be electronically delivered to specialists’ radiologists at Mulago for interpretation.“We have created a centre where they will be sending images to radiologists at Mulago Hospital for interpretation,” says Ainebyoona.
Ainebyoona notes that as long as the hospitals where the CT scans are installed have qualified persons to operate the scan, all they require is to deliver the image to specialist doctors who will provide expert analysis, interpretation, and recommendation.
He also notes that some of the CT scanners installed were yet to be verified by the Uganda Atomic Energy Council before the Health Ministry commissions them for operation.
On Monday, the Health Ministry reported that CT scans in seven regional Referral Hospitals had already been verified by the Uganda Atomic Energy Council. The Regional Referral Hospitals are Fort portal, Mubende, Masaka, Hoima, Mbale, Jinja, and Soroti.