Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a modern radiological, diagnostic method that provides a detailed picture of the whole organism. In Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), waiting for this important diagnosis sometimes takes up to a year.
As citizens complain daily about long waiting lists for radiological diagnostics, Tuzla’s University Clinical Center (UKC) and Sarajevo General Hospital were asked for comment.
“Classic general X-ray procedures, ultrasound for which there is no waiting, and CT and MRI examinations are performed at the General Hospital. The waiting list for CT is up to 2 months while waiting for MRI is reduced to less than 3 months,” the response said.
The General Hospital points out that the allegations that if a patient is willing to pay for such a service, he can get it immediately without waiting are not true.
They point out that there is a long wait for MRI because it is the most complex high-tech procedure, where examination and analysis take a long time and require the engagement of a larger medical team, and there is a lack of radiologists in BiH and the surrounding area.
UKC Tuzla was asked for a comment, which received 9 new devices for radiological diagnostics in the previous year.
“Clinic for Radiology and Nuclear Medicine of UKC Tuzla provides diagnostic services in the field of CT, MRI, ultrasound diagnostics of breast, abdomen, blood vessels, thyroid gland, mammography, standard X-ray diagnostics, interventional radiology, densitometry, hormonal analysis,” it was explained byUKC Tuzla.
They point out that the waiting list does not exceed 30 days in any of the above diagnostics, except for patients for whom follow-up examinations do not require otherwise.
“Emergency patients do not have to schedule an appointmentand the diagnosis is completed immediately. Oncology patients are exempt from standard ordering protocols and their diagnosis is completed according to the treatment plan, as well as compliance with the terms of the council,” said the UKC Tuzla.
Patients who pay for MRI diagnostics for such a thing must have an indication from a specialist doctor, and at UKC Tuzla such patients have no advantage in terms of shorter waiting times and can schedule an appointment in accordance with the availability as well as patients whose costs are borne by the competent Health Insurance Institute.
How many unemployed doctors and radiology engineers do we have?
Currently, the Bosnian-Podrinje Canton (BPC) is the only one that does not have registered medical radiology engineers at the Employment Agency, while the Canton Sarajevo (CS) has 99 engineers in the records of the Employment Agency.
In Tuzla Canton (TC), there are 16 doctors of medicine – radiologists who are at the Employment Agency, while in the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton (HNC) there are 44 medical radiology engineers unemployed. Posavina Canton also has unemployed medical radiology engineers (3) as well as the West Herzegovina Canton, which has 8 medical radiology engineers on the unemployment register.
Directors of clinical centers have complained about the lack of radiologists in recent years, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. It seems that the institutions are not doing enough to help in providing staff to public medical institutions, and thus prevent the departure of highly educated medical staff from our country, which would provide citizens with fast and efficient service.