Vadodara: As teams from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) – the nuclear watchdog of the country – has started conducting surprise inspections of medical diagnostic centres across major cities of Gujarat, an X-ray unit operated by the radiology department of SSG Hospital (SSGH) on Wednesday morning received a warning of being sealed.
On Tuesday, AERB inspectors had carried out a similar exercise after which a machine of a private diagnostic centre was sealed while a private centre was issued a warning.
A senior official of AERB told TOI that the move is to ensure that the use of radiation machines do not cause undue risk to the health of people.
The public notice posted at SSGH states that the warning has been issued for violation of rule 3 of the Atomic Energy (Radiation Protection) Rules, 2004 under section 16 and section 17 of the Atomic Energy Act, 1962.
“AERB hereby issues this warning to seal of your medical diagnostic x-ray facility. You are required to initiate the process for obtaining license for operation within 30 days from the date of issue of this notice, failing to which this x-ray facility will be sealed and will attract legal action against the offender, under section 24 of the Atomic Energy Act, 1962,” the notice states.
Dr Chetan Mehta, head of SSGH’s radiology department, said, “There was some confusion regarding the license of the equipment when the team came for a surprise check. We have the required license to operate the x-ray equipment and will shortly upload the same on AERB’s website to comply with the regulatory norms. Once, we provide this document, the notice will be revoked,” said
Dr Virendra Shah from Baroda Imaging Center too confirmed that AERB team has sealed a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) machine. “The inspection team sealed the machine as our staff was not taking enough precautions. We will comply with the measures within a week and the machine will restart after we submit the compliance report,” he said.
DEXA machine is commonly used to diagnose osteoporosis to assess an individual’s risk for developing osteoporotic fractures.
Dr Agam Shrivastav from SRL Diagnostics said that AERB has directed them to inform about an upgraded machine. “We have been asked to comply with the norms which we will do as suggested by them,” he said.
AERB conducts surprise visits across Gujarat : Teams of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) are conducting surprise inspections across Gujarat including Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot and Surat. Although the inspectors are tight-lipped about their movements, a senior AERB official confirmed the development. “Our teams are currently in Gujarat. The surprise inspections are meant to check whether the machines are being operated with the mandatory licenses or not,” said Dr Avinash Sonawane, secretary of AERB. “If the owner of the facility or the doctor cannot produce the license, which is issued free after the facility submits its compliance report, the machines are sealed. The teams also check whether the machines are being operated following necessary safety parameters. If there is an anomaly a warning is issued to the owner or the facility to comply with the safety norms,” said Sonawane.