Medical Physics in Developing Countries: Looking for a Better World
Zaidi H., (2008) Medical Physics in Developing Countries: Looking for a Better World. Biomedical Imaging and Intervention Journal, 4 (1).
Official URL: http://www.biij.org/2008/1/e29/e29.pdf
Geneva University Hospital, Switzerland, Division of Nuclear Medicine
Medical physics has been identified as one of the key areas that need to be developed to improve healthcare. However, the level achieved in developing countries represents a stark contrast to the level that exists in Western Europe or North America. The challenge for developing countries is to build the required infrastructures, to acquire the equipment, to attract highly qualified professionals and to develop education and training programs and political policies for effective and accessible care within budgetary constraints. The state-of–the-art technological developments in medical physics cannot be viewed as a uniform reality all over the world. There is, of course, a wide difference in emphasis and approach when dealing with developing countries, compared to developed nations. As quality assurance and cost-benefit guidelines in the practice of radiation therapy and diagnostic imaging are being developed and debated in developed countries, the perspectives of the availability and standards of healthcare taken for granted in these countries stand in stark contrast to the level administered in developing countries. In this contribution, the overall situation of medical physics in developing countries and the barriers to improvement are discussed, and some possible solutions and ways to bridge the gap between developed and developing countries are suggested.
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