Planning of Nuclear Medicine in Turkey: Current Status and Future Perspectives


Background and Purpose: An analysis of the current nuclear medicine (NM) status and future demand inTurkey in line with the international benchmarks was conducted to establish a comprehensive baseline reference.
Methods: Data from all NM centers on major equipment and manpower in Turkey were collected througha survey and cross-checked with the primary research and governmental data. Data regarding manpowercurrently working were obtained from the relevant academic centers and occupational societies.
Results: Thecurrent numbers of NM laboratories, NM specialists, gamma cameras, PET/CT scanners, radioiodine treatmentunits for thyroid cancer are 217, 474, 287, 75 and 39, respectively. There was personnel and equipment needunderestimated in the field compared to developed countries. Equipment insufficiency was more significant inthe Ministry of Health (MoH) hospitals. These gaps should be eliminated with strategic planning of equipmentand NM laboratories. Currently, the number of the PET/CT devices is at the level of the developed countries.The number of specialists in the field should reach the expected goal in 2023. By 2023, Turkey will need around820 NM specialists, 498 gamma cameras and 99 PET/CT devices. In addition, further studies should be maderegarding other related staff, particularly for health physicians, radiopharmacists and NM technicians.
Conclusion: There is an insufficiency of personnel and equipment in Turkey’s NM field. Comprehensive strategicplanning is required to allocate limited resources and the purchase of the equipment and employment policiesshould be structured as part of “National Special Feature Requiring Health Service Plan”.