Kenyans will now be spared the agony of pursuing medical treatment abroad after a team of 30 radiographers and radiologists, who were being trained in various fields in China for a month, jetted back yesterday.
The specialists, who have expertise in handling CT scans, deployed in various parts of the country, were trained on telemedicine and have expertise in storage of Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans and will be deployed across the hospitals where the government launched the scans.
The move is aimed at easing sending images abroad for referrals without travelling to eliminate the burden of medical tourism.
Further they were also trained on various areas, including basic operations, protocol editing and positioning, patient positioning, image acquisition, post processing, image archiving and filming.
With their arrival, the specialists are expected to be deployed in counties that have functioning CT scan centres in a scheme similar to the one for Cuban doctors.
The move comes at a time when CT scan machines are being installed in 37 counties with at least 10 centres in the counties being fully functional. The revolutionary CT technology will complement the existing 90 CT scanners countrywide accounting for two machines for every million Kenyans with 18 in public hospitals in 16 counties.
Fully functional CT centres are available at the Thika Level Five, Iten County Referral (Elgeyo Marakwet county), Kakamega County Referral, Narok County Referral and Voi Level Five (Taita Taveta county) and Kakamega Referral County hospitals while in Lamu, Mombasa and Kapsabet counties the machines are awaiting official launch. Health Ministry principal secretary Peter Tum said the doctors’ services will go along way in ensuring Kenyans do not continue to incur huge expenses on medical cost.
He said the situation right now is dire due to lack of enough specialists and specialised medical equipment, long waiting periods especially for cancer treatment and kidney transplants.
“With the installations of these centres and collaborations being done including the Cuban doctors and the establishment of referral hospitals, we hope to reverse the outbound medical tourism and also improve on the inbound medical tourism,” he said.
Megascope Healthcare general manager Renne Lupalo, said the situation is dire because of lack of enough specialists and specialised medical equipment, long waiting periods especially for cancer treatment and kidney transplants and the high cost of treatment are among reasons cited for seeking treatment abroad.