Last month’s transposition of European Council Directive 2013/59/EURATOM into Irish law means that HIQA is now responsible for regulating medical exposure to ionising radiation.
The new law covers dental x-rays, hospital CT scans, mammograms and radiotherapy received as part of cancer treatment.
A medical exposure to ionising radiation is when a patient receives ionising radiation as part of their diagnosis or treatment.
The transposition into Irish law confers new statutory functions on HIQA under the EU’s (Basic Safety Standards for Protection against Dangers Arising from Medical Exposure to Ionising Radiation) Regulations 2018 SI No. 256.
HIQA’s John Tuffy said: “Generally the risks associated with receiving medical exposure to ionising radiation can be considered very low.
“However, as procedures that involve ionising radiation carry varying levels of risk dependent on the dose given, it is important that all radiation doses are kept as low as practically possible.
“It is vital that patients are only exposed when the benefits of receiving the exposure outweigh the risks.”
“The new legislation has given HIQA regulatory powers to ensure that appropriate processes are in place to protect patients in public and private healthcare facilities for the first time.”