The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has entered into an agreement with Governments of Maharashtra and Odisha for formation of state level Directorate of Radiation Safety (DRS) for strengthening the regulator control on medical diagnostic X-ray facilities.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to this effect was signed last month, first with the Aditional Chief Secretary, Public Health Department, Government of Maharashtra on January 18, and the second one with Principle Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department to set up the DRS in the respective States.
With these, AERB has signed MoUs with a total of 10 States namely Kerala, Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Odisha, of which DRS in Kerala and Mizoram are already functioning.
States like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh are in the process of signing MoUs shortly.
It may be noted that diagnostic radiology facilities utilizing X-ray units are widely available in the country and a large number of people undergo diagnostic X-ray procedures every year, but these X-ray units may lead to unwanted radiation exposure to the patients as well as the operators, if not designed or operated properly.
The safety review and assessment of these machines is carried out by AERB of India, which is the national regulatory body for enforcement of radiological safety regulations in the country.
In view of the tremendous increase in the medical diagnostic installations using medical X-ray units in the country, AERB has taken proactive steps to exercise regulatory control over all such installations by decentralizing the regulation of these units by having and MoU with State Governments to set up DRS in various states and Union Territories. (ANI)