Directorate of Radiation Safety to be set up soon
- The State government will soon set up a Directorate of Radiation Safety (DRS) under the Department of Health and Family Welfare.
- This follows a Supreme Court judgment mandating every State to establish a DRS and support the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) in governing radiation safety.
- Karnataka has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Directorate of Regulatory Affairs and Communications (DRA and C) in this regard.
- The MoU was signed by the Principal Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) and Chief of DRA and C.
- The Health Department, the State government will soon notify the Directorate of Radiation Safety and in future this directorate will take care of radiation safety throughout the State.
77 per cent X-Ray facilities in Karnataka unlicensed
- There are at least 20,000 X-ray centres in Karnataka (both government and private health facilities), but only 4,500 have licences from Atomic Energy Regulation Board (AERB), Mumbai.
- Karnataka signed an MoU with AERB to set up a Directorate of Radiation Safety. Through registration, site approval and licensing in such facilities, AERB’s mandate is to ensure that the use of ionising radiation and nuclear energy does not cause undue risk to the health of people and the environment.
- A Supreme Court judgment mandated every state to establish a directorate of radiation safety (DRS) to support the AERB in governing radiation safety.
- The only licensing authority is in Mumbai, which is the AERB. Only 4,500 are registered with them. The remaining 15,500 are unlicensed, which is 77 per cent.
- Once the division is operational, the radiation safety officers will check whether nursing homes, clinics and diagnostic centres have licences and whether they are following AERB norms. Henceforth, whenever new centres are set up, they will be required to take permission from the AERB and DRS.
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