Kochi, Jan 11 (Agencies): At the inaugural address of a seminar on Tuesday, Secretary Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), R Bhattacharya stressed on the need to ensure that proper safety principles and practices should be followed in medical x-ray installations in the country.

“Adhere to proper safety norms and minimise the potential risk by doing a proper risk-benefit analysis, for which training is more important,” Bhattacharya said. Seminar was held on 'Radiation Safety and AERB Regulations for Diagnostic Imaging'.

“There are presently over 50,000 diagnostic X-ray units registered in the country. To improve the status of radiological safety in medical X-ray installations, quality assurance test of each X-ray unit has to be carried out and the flaws to be rectified. A quality assured X-ray unit will result in optimising the radiation dose to patients and minimising raidiation exposure to radiation workers, “he added.

“Thanks to the X-ray registration programme, the inspectors from the Centre for Scientifc and Industrial Research and DRDO collected data on 30,583 X-ray installations. The program had a tremendous impact and now over 50,000 Xray units have been registered,” he said.
The AERB made a detailed analysis of the data collected, the shortcomings were observed and accordingly remedial measures were given.

In his address, State Health secretary, B S Mavoji said that there was a need for qualified technicians to handle the equipments in the hospitals and X-ray labs in the State.
The seminar was organised by Directorate of Radiation Safety (DRS). Kerala is the first state where DRS is functional and according to Bhattacharya, efforts are on to form similar directorates in other states as well.

During the last two years, DRS Kerala has been able to issue 900 site approval certificates, recommended to AERB for registration of about 850 x-ray units. DRS was also taking efforts to start MSc medical physics course in Kerala to fulfill the regulatory requirements set by AERB.
P J Joseph, Director, DRS, said, “In Kerala, only 30 per cent of X-ray units are legal and registered which is a matter of concern. Since only safe institutions would get AERB registration, these unregistered institutions are highly unsafe and potentially dangerous. Most of the units are operated by under qualified personnel who are unaware of the dangers of radiation.

Hospital administrators, Managers, Directors and Medical Superintendents participated in the seminar. V S Iyer, Member AERB, Mumbai; Dr Bhaskara K Pillai, Prof and Head Medical Physics, Amrita; Dr S Paneer Selvam, Assistant Prof Sreeramachandra Medical College, Chennai were among those who spoke.