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February 17 2021

A group of 22 radiologists from 7 Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) are undertaking a Postgraduate Certificate in Radiology Fundamentals, in another step to broaden the region’s medical expertise.

The Pacific Community (SPC) with funding from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) facilitated this opportunity offered by Radiology Across Borders (RAB) in collaboration with the University of British Columbia, Canada.

Waisiki Lomalagi a Radiographer in the Cook Islands and a member of the Pacific Radiology Society expressed his excitement over the opportunity saying, “This is a rewarding opportunity to be part of this course and as a radiographer I will be able to upgrade my knowledge and attain credible certification. It’s been a long time coming for us, especially when it comes to upskilling our expertise in radiology with more of image diagnosis”.

In 2019, SPC facilitated the inaugural Pacific Radiology Meeting that was attended by 12 PICTs and through this meeting the Pacific Radiology Society was established.

Dr Ana Akauola the only Radiologist in Tonga and Chair of the Pacific Radiology Society, said this opportunity is welcomed given that postgraduate or masters in radiology is not offered in the Pacific region.

“In the Pacific, radiology is only considered as a support to mainstream medicine and as such there is little investment in providing training for radiologists and technicians as well as upgrading of equipment. I strongly recommend these educational opportunities for radiologists and radiographers continue on a regular basis in the future”.

Dr Berlin Kafoa, from the Clinical Services Program at SPC’s Public Health Division stated the meeting held in 2019 presented the opportunity to develop a regional plan for radiology. “The existence of a regional radiology plan guides our efforts to strengthen radiology services in the PICT’s”.

The Pacific Radiology Society anticipates convening virtual meetings in the future to discuss ways to improve and upskill radiology services both on a national and regional basis.