Integration of Nuclear Medicine into the National Healthcare System (RAW/6/010) E1 New

Integration of Nuclear Medicine into the National Healthcare System (RAW/6/010) E1 New

OBJECTIVES: To identify the need and potential for a comprehensive approach for nuclear medicine applications in West Asia.

BACKGROUND: Nuclear Medicine is a clinical discipline devoted to the diagnostic, therapeutic, and research applications of internally administered radionuclides. The ability to provide information about organ functions and detect abnormalities in them at a stage before the actual onset of structural abnormalities make nuclear medicine a very useful tool in healthcare. Nuclear medicine procedures play an important role in the management of most of the common diseases as in coronary disease, cancer, diabetes, and infectious diseases. Over the years, the discipline has grown manifold and includes aspects of radiopharmacy, instrumentation, in vivo clinical applications, in vitro applications, and therapy.

Although nuclear medicine applications involve high costs, advanced technical know-how, and sophisticated instrumentation, its relevance to addressing important healthcare problems in developing Member States cannot be ignored. In order to evolve a "thematic concept" for a systematic and comprehensive application of nuclear medicine technology in healthcare in the West Asia region, it is advisable to first make a realistic assessment of the current situation on the use, quality, and spectrum of nuclear medicine in the Member States, and to have a common understanding on and national commitment to a comprehensive approach for its integration into the national healthcare system.

PROJECT PLAN:The project workplan will be prepared and agreed upon in a co-ordination meeting of the project counterparts from the participating countries in the region who should preferably be senior nuclear medicine physicians with broad expertise and experience in both in vivo and in vitro nuclear medicine. The workplan will include a series of meeting and expert missions that will identify the most relevant healthcare problems in the participating countries, preparation of a list of clinical conditions to be addressed, and an inventory of the existing nuclear medical facilities with information regarding the available staff and equipment. Subsequently, an analysis of the nuclear medicine technology capability for each participating country will be carried out. Fellowships, group training and scientific visits will address the specific training and information exchange needs of individual Member States. Based on the aforementioned information and activities, a set of healthcare issues will be identified that need to be addressed using the available nuclear medicine capabilities in the countries of the region.

NATIONAL COMMITMENT: The participating Member States will provide relevant information on the use of nuclear medicine applications in their healthcare and allow free access to the healthcare facilities to facilitate a realistic assessment of the existing situation and future requirements.

AGENCY INPUT: Experts advice, meetings, fellowships, and scientific visits to nuclear medicine facilities; information material.

EXPECTED RESULTS: A realistic assessment of the present situation and future needs will help in adopting a systemic approach to the use and development of nuclear medicine applications in the Member States of the region. This assessment will also provide a clear understanding of the respective role of the Agency and the Member States for possible areas of technical co-operation.

PROJECT IMAPACT: By assessing the role of nuclear medicine in the West Asia region, needs will be identified and projects created to facilitate the establishment of nuclear medicine technologies in the region under a systematic approach. Any enhancement to the nuclear medicine technologies already existing in the region will benefit the health of the population.