State Health society,BIHAR
    SHSB         DRS     Messages Director's Desk Forms Function & Activities
Director, DRS
P.J. Joseph

I am extremely happy to join the State Health Society, Government of Bihar as Director of Radiation Safety to help in the formation of the Directorate of Radiation Safety (DRS) in Bihar. I had worked in the same capacity in Kerala from 2008 to 2011. During my three year tenure as Director under Government of Kerala, I got wholehearted cooperation from institutions, suppliers and manufacturers. In three years, thousands of X-ray owners obtained AERB Registration for their X-ray units and more than 100 CT Scanners and Cath labs also obtained Licence from AERB. Manufacturers and suppliers cooperated in the process by supplying AERB Type Approved Units and insisting on Site Approval prior to installation.
     In Bihar, after taking charge as Director, I had visited a dozen institutions having X-ray units and CT scanners. None of them have registration/licence from AERB. All of them are unsafe and are being operated disregarding safety to staff, patients and the public. Most of the technicians operating X-ray units are not conversant with Safety Codes and Safety Standards. They dare operate X-ray unit without protective screen and allowing people to crowd in the X-ray room. A patient waiting for five minutes in an x-ray room while other patients are examined (an undesirable practice) may receive more radiation dose while waiting than during his/her own examination. This unsafe practice is prevalent in many hospitals and X-ray clinics. Most of the X-ray rooms have inadequate walls, unshielded openings, windows, doors and orientation offering no worthwhile protection. X-ray beams are not collimated, exposure factors are selected arbitrarily, protective barriers, lead aprons and gonad shields are never used. Personnel monitoring badges are either not subscribed by the institutions or not worn by the workers when supplied.
     X-ray, being an ionizing radiation, can be harmful to humans if not used responsibly. An X-ray examination based on prudent clinical judgment when carried out by qualified personnel using optimally adjusted X-ray unit is beneficial to the patient and the benefit far outweighs the lowly risk.
     Regulatory control of X-ray units is absolutely essential in the light of the prevalent high risk practices and ever increasing use of X-rays in medical diagnosis.No X-ray unit need be closed down, they only have to comply with the standards and stipulations stated in the AERB Safety Codes. Unwanted X-ray exposure thrust on the innocent public can be avoided if all the X-ray owners came forward for implementing safety in their X-ray installations. Efforts will be made to augment safety awareness through Seminars and Workshops. I shall consider it an honour if this initiative is taken by the X-ray owners with the seriousness it deserves.
[Joseph P.J]
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