Health and Child Care Minister, Dr David Parirenyatwa has bemoaned the unavailability of radiologists in the country saying there is need to train more locals to improve healthcare provisions.
Addressing various stakeholders at the commissioning of the Diagnostic Radiology and Magnetic Resonance imaging (MRI) Center last week, Parirenyatwa said having observed the inadequacies in the specialist field of diagnostic radiology in the country there is need to train more students locally.
“I think we have around 15 radiologists in the country and I must own up to say we do not have a radiologist at Mpilo hospital in Bulawayo, that is sad because we continue to try and recruit radiologists from outside the country when we could train our own here and also redistribute those who are here,
“Clearly we cannot separate you from your family to work in Bulawayo ,but would want someone to go to and cover Mpilo,
“We cannot afford as a nation the hemorrhage of valuable foreign currency ,not only by sending our children abroad to study diagnostic radiology but also from exporting patients and samples for diagnosis to other nations,” said Parirenyatwa.
He added that as a government they have played a critical role in investing in local universities to produce medical students who are the tributaries to medical practice.
“Whilst our resources are limited our desire is certainly and Diagnostic Radiology Training in Zimbabwe is a matter of urgency. It is unacceptable that a country with a population of nearly 14 million citizens can have so few registered specialist radiologists,” added Parirenyatwa.
Diagnostic Radiology and MRI Center Specialist, Dr Dumisani Ndlovu concurred with Parirenyatwa saying the country is still in dire need of radiologists urging him to look into the issue as soon as possible.
“It is worth noting that up to now in spite of the increased intake of medical students there is still a serious shortage of radiologists in the country and no there is no radiology training in the country,
“We cannot continue to rely on external institutions to train radiologists for us as this may be costly, I appeal to you today honorable minister to look in to this issue with the urgency it deserves,” he said.
A radiographer or a medical imaging technologist, is a trained health professional who performs medical imaging that produces x-ray images used to diagnose and treat injury or disease.