The first Diagnostic Radiology and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Centre has been commissioned in Harare and is expected to improve healthcare provision in Zimbabwe as well as save valuable foreign currency.
Zimbabwe has been losing valuable foreign currency through sending patients and samples for diagnosis to other countries.
The commissioning of a Diagnostic Radiology and MRI Centre in the country is thus expected to ensure the provision of affordable, high quality medical care to all citizens in line with national goals.
Guest of honour at the official opening ceremony, Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa said government is working towards ensuring that every hospital from district to provincial level has a resident radiologist with access to the best available technology.
As we move further into the new dispensation of national governance, and as we open new frontiers of cooperation and collaboration with our global partners, this mission will stand accomplished, said Dr Parirenyatwa.
“We are grateful to people who supplement government efforts in providing quality health care delivery. I am cognisant of the fact that Dr Ndlovu has observed glaring inadequacies in the specialist field of diagnostic radiology in this country, particularly as far as training in the field is concerned. It is true that in a progressive country where the development parameters are well placed, teaching hospitals must be equipped to provide high-level training for diagnostic radiologists,” he said.
The centre is a brainchild of Dr Dumisani Ndlovu and his wife Dr Ntokozo Ndlovu.
Dr Ndlovu commended the new government for enhancing the ease of doing business which has made engagements with the Ministry of Health and Child Care and the banking sector easy.
He, however, bemoaned the shortage of diagnostic radiologists in the country.
“There is a shortage of radiologists in the country and reasons for this need to be explored and solutions to this gap identified. We cannot continue to rely on external institutions to train radiologists for us, as this may be costly in more ways than one. I appeal to you today, honourable minister to look into this issue with the urgency it deserves, as in Zimbabwe, professionals of my level and training are but an endangered species. Succession planning is needed in this field and has to be put in place,”said Dr Ndlovu.
The government has increased the annual intake of medical students but there is still a serious shortage of diagnostic radiologists in the country.
Currently there are only 115 diagnostic radiologists in the country against a population of over 14 million people.
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.