Radiologists lament high prices of MRI machine, ‘Japa’ syndrome
The Association of Radiologists in Nigeria (ARIN) says its biggest challenge is the high cost of equipment to work with.
The newly-elected ARIN national president, Olalekan Oyinloye, said this at a dinner and award to mark the closing session of the sixth annual general meeting and 60th AGM of Association of Radiologists in West Africa (ARAWA) in Abuja.
Mr Oyinloye, a consultant radiologist at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), stated that the exchange rate of naira to dollars had made it more difficult for the association to acquire some of the equipment.
He particularly mentioned equipment like the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine, which cost $6 million, which the association could not afford.
Mr Oyinloye explained that there “is also what is called a computed tomography machine; if you want to buy a new one, we will be talking about $500,000, so the basic challenge we have is in the equipment.”
The ARIN president added, “The other equipment that you can’t divorce is power. MRI is a machine that has what is called the high-fead, which is supposed to produce the best image, and you have to power this equipment for 365 days a year. You know what that means in Nigeria.
“You cannot afford to switch off the light, otherwise it will malfunction, that is a big challenge; in most cases even when they have the capacity, maintaining it 24 hours a day is a big challenge, so I think these are the two major challenges we have. The ‘Japa’ syndrome is a big problem. Doctors are moving in droves. Almost virtually every month, somebody must move.”
Agaja James, the newly elected vice-president I, also reiterated the need for the government to do more for the medical doctors. Mr James, the chairman of the local organising committee of the AGM, said he was not encouraged because of the situation in the health sector, adding that it lacked most of the equipment required to work by the doctors.
Mr James said, “Radiologists can tell you the problem either through our basic x-ray, ultrasound, computed thermography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and many others that are readily available in every part of the country.
“You cannot do without radiologists. A radiologist will tell you exactly what the problem is; our message for the federal government is to give us an enabling environment where all these equipment are made available, functional electricity and adequate remuneration.”
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