Every day, people are exposed to both natural and artificial sources of radiation and radioactivity. Natural sources include radon and cosmic radiation, while artificial or man-made sources include medical ionising radiation and residual nuclear contamination. Radiation exposure from natural sources is difficult to eliminate; however, appropriate controls and regulation of the use of ionising radiation can help reduce or prevent inappropriate medical exposures.
From 8 January 2019, the EU Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom, which sets basic safety standards for protection arising from exposure to ionising radiation, has been transposed into Irish law. This legislation has designated HIQA as the independent competent authority for medical exposures. The purpose of HIQA’s ionising radiation (medical exposures) regulatory and health technology assessment programmes is to promote better, safer practice across all service providers using medical exposures in Ireland.
Service providers may include public hospitals, private hospitals, private clinics, dentists and any other facility that used ionising radiation for medical exposures.