March 18, 2019 - Radiology is a very important tool for early detection, diagnosis, and management of diseases. For example, radiation therapy is essential for the treatment of certain diseases. Radiology can address abnormalities and conditions in maternal and infant health, respiratory diseases, Noncommunicable disease (NCD), trauma and many other diseases. The services however need to be offered appropriately for a positive outcome and thereby reducing mortality and morbidity. A department of radiology or medical imaging is a service-oriented department, which provides very important, if not crucial care such as diagnosis of diseases and patient management. For this purpose, quality and safety of the services must be a priority in order to reduce adverse events.
Based on a 2018 assessment report of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, and as part of the technical cooperation that PAHO/WHO provides to the country, two experts from the Radiation Health Program of PAHO (Dr. Pablo Jimenez and Ms. Kayiba Medlen) were in country from March 12 to 15, 2019, conducting follow up assessments of the Radiology Services in Belize with the objective of developing Radiology Standards. The assessment covered human resources including qualifications and other areas applicable, the availability of Technology, availability of quality control and quality assurance programs, existing protocols, guidelines and policies within the department, referral patterns and additional managerial issues and Information system for potential Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) implementation.
To acquire a better understanding of the overall situation of radiology services in the country, such an assessment is recommended as an initial step to make preparations for subsequent activities which will be carried out in collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The mission ended with a meeting including the Ministry of Health, officials from the IAEA and the PAHO/WHO Representative, Dr. Noreen Jack, discussing findings of the mission and potential options to address the gaps and needs in the radiology services.