An Audit of Computed Tomography (CT) Services in Zambia
Background: In Zambia, Computed Tomography (CT) has been available since 1994 as part of the healthcare delivery pathway. Radiographers undertake CT examinations of the body to diagnose diseases, injuries and to plan for radiotherapy.
Objective: The aim of this study was to audit CT services in Zambia.
Methodology: The study used a convergent parallel design in which quantitative and qualitative data were collected concurrently using an online questionnaire. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics, whilst qualitative data were analysed by themes.
Results: Out of the 23 facilities, a total of 22 responded. Results indicated that Western and Central provinces did not have CT scanners. Most CT facilities are in the Lusaka province. 59% (N=13) and 41% (N=9) were from the public and private sectors, respectively. In public hospitals, 46% (N=6) of CT scanners were functional with service contracts and 89% (N=8) were functional in the private hospitals with service contracts. 61.5 % (N=8) of public hospitals had maintenance schedules while 89% (N=8) of private hospitals had maintenance schedules. A total of 7 facilities reported having radiographers with a qualification in CT. 12 out of 22 facilities indicated having a radiologist with average patient waiting times for CT reports being 76 hours and 24 hours in public and private facilities, respectively.
Conclusion: This audit revealed an unequal distribution of CT scanners characterised by poor maintenance and lack of service contracts, especially in public hospitals. The audit also revealed longer waiting times for CT reports in public than in private hospitals.
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