Hospitals and service providers must apply to HIQA for generic justification of new practices involving medical exposure to ionising radiation

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HIQA is now accepting applications from hospitals and service providers in the public and private sectors for the generic justification of new practices involving medical exposure to ionising radiation.

Generic justification considers the overall potential for benefit, as well as the potential for harm of a new practice (for example, a new X-ray technology). HIQA will compare the new practice with existing options, taking into account the amount of ionising radiation to which patients will be exposed.

HIQA says generic justification is important for patient safety as it aims to safeguard the use of radiation across the healthcare sector. It does this by considering the evidence on the safety and effectiveness of a new type or class of practice before that practice can be generally adopted or used on a day-to-day basis for patients.

Hospitals and service providers in the public and private sectors who wish to offer a new practice using ionising radiation in Ireland must apply to HIQA for generic justification before they can offer the practice on a routine basis.

Dr Patricia Harrington, Deputy Director of Health Technology Assessment, said: The commencement of HIQA’s role in generic justification is a key part of safeguarding patients undergoing medical exposures to ionising radiation. HIQA’s decisions will be guided by the evidence about the safety and effectiveness of practices compared with the available alternatives. “  

HIQA will be supported in its role by its Medical Exposure to Ionising Radiation Expert Advisory Group (EAG). This group is composed of experts in ionising radiation from key professional bodies in Ireland, independent experts as well as representatives of patient organisations, and regulatory authorities and key professional bodies. The EAG has an independent chairperson, Professor Mary Coffey.