In a statement, the Portuguese Association of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (Apranemn) said that these courses in the areas of medical ultrasound imaging diagnosis have no accreditation, cannot guarantee the quality of trainers or the themes and content, and are often open to non-medical professionals.
Many of them – they added- confer a certificate/diploma and are not subject to any legal restriction or monitoring.
Apranemn insisted that an image specialist is not trained in a few hours or even days and recalled that a radiologist has five years of specific training (intensive and exclusive) in imaging, in addition to seven years of training in medicine, and is subject to multiple evaluations, not only during training periods but throughout his career.
"Only in this way is it possible to guarantee the necessary formative competences, duly recognised by the College of the Specialty and by the Order of Doctors, which confer a degree of medical specialist in radiology,” they said.
The association also said that on 31 July it met in parliament with health representatives of the Socialist Party and the Social Democratic Party and that it delivered personally to the president of the National Health Council documentation warning about the need to regulate these courses.
The Portuguese Society of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine (SPRMN) also expressed its concern with this type of training, arguing that accreditation will have to be made by the Order of Doctors.
SPRMN said that it has been following with concern the news about diagnostic errors in ultrasound examinations, referring to the case of the baby from Setúbal who was born with serious malformations that were not detected in the ultrasounds accompanying the mother's pregnancy.
After hearing about the case of the Setúbal baby, the Portuguese Medical Association decided to create a specific competence in the area of ultrasound to monitor pregnancy, although it considers that the existing standards in Portugal ensure the quality of these medical acts.