This new situation follows the signing by the Minister for Health Simon Harris of a new statutory instrument governing the regulation of medical exposures to ionising radiation.
“To ensure medical exposure to ionising radiation is managed safely, it is important that all the places in which a patient is likely to be exposed are regulated, whether the provider is public or private,” said Mr Phelim Quinn, HIQA CEO.
“The first step in the regulation of medical exposure to ionising radiation is for all organisations that carry out medical exposures to declare themselves to HIQA on or before 8 April 2019.”
A medical exposure to ionising radiation is when a patient receives ionising radiation as part of their diagnosis or treatment. This could be an X-ray at a dentist, a CT scan at a hospital, a mammogram, or radiotherapy received as part of cancer treatment. It also includes exposure to radiation for medical or biomedical research purposes as well as carers and comforters exposed to ionising radiation while attending a patient.
“This new legislation will be the first time that HIQA will regulate healthcare facilities in the private sector and have enforcement powers to ensure compliance with these regulations in healthcare settings,” said Mr Quinn.