Irfan Tramboo

AERB’s objection shuts PET scan at SKIMS

AERB’s objection shuts PET scan at SKIMS
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Srinagar: The elation of having a PET scan at SKIMS has proven to be short-lived, as Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB)—the regulatory for such machines—has raised questions over the qualification of the person who is overlooking the functioning of the machine at SKIMS, thus bringing the machine to a halt.

What is interesting is that the SKIMS does not have a ‘qualified’ person for the PET scan whose qualification would be in compliance with the AERB guidelines.

The machine, as of now, remains defunct and the SKIMS is in consultation with the board and is expecting a ‘solution’ soon.

As per the guidelines of AERB, the person who is authorized to run or handle the machines should have an MD in Nuclear Medicine, while as the person who was handling the machinery at SKIMS is having MD Radiotherapy, which is not acceptable to the board.

“The person who was over-looking the functioning of the machine, was having an MD is Radiotherapy, which is as per the guidelines of the Medical Council of India (MCI),” said Medical Superintendent, SKIMS Dr Farooq Jan.

What is acceptable to the MCI does not go well with the board that provides the license for the equipment dealing with the radiations, and this case, Valley’s lone PET scan.

Notably, the board demands that the person who will be overlooking the PET scan must have an MD degree in Nuclear Medicine and does not authorize a person with an MD in Radiotherapy.

“The MCI permits the person with both MD in Radiotherapy and MD Nuclear Medicine to overlook the functioning of the machine, however, the board goes only with one and that is MD Nuclear Medicine, and we don’t have anyone with such a qualification,” Dr Jan said.

The officials are saying that they are in consultation with the board and are hopeful of a breakthrough soon. However, till the issue is resolved the public seems to be suffering.

Pertinently, the much-needed PET scan was e-inaugurated by the then chief minister Mehbooba Mufti in January this year. In addition to the PET Scan, digital subtraction angiography laboratory, Outpatient Department expansion, emergency expansion, maternity extension were also inaugurated on the day.

Irfan Tramboo

Irfan Tramboo is a reporter and covers education and health and can be contacted

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