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Nigerian radiologists lament the high cost of equipment due to forex rate

The Association of Radiologists in Nigeria (ARIN) has highlighted the significant obstacle it faces, primarily the exorbitant cost of acquiring essential medical equipment due to forex rates.

Professor Olalekan Oyinloye, the newly-elected National President of ARIN, expressed these concerns during a dinner and award ceremony marking the conclusion of the 6th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and 60th AGM of the Association of Radiologists in West Africa (ARAWA) in Abuja.

Professor Oyinloye, who also serves as a Consultant Radiologist at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), underscored the formidable challenge posed by the exchange rate, particularly the increased difficulty in obtaining critical equipment due to the Naira’s depreciation against the dollar.

Notably, he mentioned the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine, priced at $6 million, as a critical piece of equipment that remains financially out of reach for the association.

In addition to the high costs, Professor Oyinloye emphasised the indispensable nature of continuous power supply for certain equipment, such as the MRI machine, which requires 24-hour functionality for optimal performance.

He pointed out the impracticality of power outages in Nigeria, stating that an uninterrupted power supply is crucial for the effective operation of these machines.

Furthermore, Professor Oyinloye addressed the alarming trend of medical professionals leaving the country, a phenomenon referred to as the “Japa syndrome.”

He disclosed that many well-trained radiologists have emigrated, posing a significant challenge to the medical profession in Nigeria. He stressed the need for the Federal Government to address these issues urgently, calling for the provision of sophisticated medical equipment, improved remuneration, and regular training opportunities.

Dr. Agaja James, the newly elected Vice President 1 and Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the AGM, echoed the sentiments, expressing concerns about the inadequacy of equipment in the health sector and the rising emigration of medical professionals.

Dr. James called on the government to take decisive actions to create an enabling environment, ensure the availability of essential equipment, and provide competitive remuneration to retain medical doctors within the country.

The appeal centred around fostering patriotism and commitment among medical professionals who have received their training in Nigeria.

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