National Assembly Shortage of radiologists impacting ultrasound scan service |22 March 2023
Some four radiologists are expected to arrive in the country by next month, thereby restoring the ultrasound scan service at the Baie St Anne Praslin health centre.
Minister for Health Peggy Vidot informed the National Assembly yesterday that the number of radiologists in the country who can conduct ultrasound scans have reduced from seven to four, since February 15.
“This is primarily because these radiologists were foreign practitioners who have come to the end of their contract, and their replacements are yet to arrive,” she explained.
Since last month, the Baie St Anne clinic has stopped taking any appointments for ultrasounds.
The ministry has for the past month offered the service only at the Seychelles Hospital, and will continue to do so until other radiologists or ultrasound technicians arrive. Patients from Praslin and La Digue in need of ultrasounds are also accessing the service at the Seychelles Hospital, if urgent.
“We presently have four radiology specialists, and demand for ultrasound scans is around four daily on Praslin, and around 150 daily on Mahé. To meet the demands, the ministry requires around seven radiologists permanently,” Minister Vidot added.
Of the four who are currently practising, three are Seychellois specialists.
With the shortage of radiograph specialists, a backlog has accumulated and the ministry is faced with a waiting list, comprising 88 individuals from Praslin and 15 from La Digue.
However, ultrasounds for females with gynaecologic or obstetric problems have been unaffected, Minister Vidot added.
The ministry is also exploring the possibility of having one of the four radiologists travel to Praslin to offer the service as a means of addressing the backlog if possible, Minister Vidot added.
Minister Vidot addressed the issue in response to an urgent question by United Seychelles (US) elected representative for Baie St Anne Praslin, Churchill Gill.