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Radiation health - Frequently asked questions - Radiation safety legislation

This site provides an opportunity for clients to highlight issues or ask questions about the radiation safety legislation. The questions and the response from Radiation Health will remain on the site for open viewing.

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Question 1.  National Uniformity

Is the radiation safety legislation in Queensland the same as the legislation around Australia?

Radiation Health Response
No.  However, all jurisdictions are moving towards national uniformity via processes detailed in Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency’s (ARPANSA) National Directory for Radiation Protection.  This document may be found on the ARPANSA website

Question 2.  Referring Patients to a Radiology Practice

Can physiotherapists refer patients to a radiology practice?

Radiation Health Response
The Radiation Safety Act 1999 does not place restrictions on who may refer patients for diagnostic procedures.

In an x-ray practice it is the radiologist or medical practitioner (the ‘authorised person’) at the practice who authorises the procedure to be performed.  It is also that person who determines what referrals are acceptable.  Under the Medicare Benefit Schedule physiotherapists may refer patients for some specific procedures.  Therefore, most patients referred by physiotherapists to authorised persons for plain film diagnostic radiography will be entitled to make a claim for part of the cost of the radiography from Medicare.

For further information, please refer to the following information sheet:
Queensland’s Arrangements for Obtaining Diagnostic Procedures

Question 3. Area alarm monitors

Do area alarm monitors require an annual calibration certificate, traceable to the Australian National Standard?

Radiation Health Response
It is important to distinguish between devices for the measurement of radiation and devices simply for the detection of radiation. Area alarm monitors fall into the second (detection) category. Devices used simply for the detection of radiation do not need an annual calibration certificate traceable to the Australian National Standard, although it might be considered best practice to have such checks performed. Radiologically sound practice would necessitate periodic constancy checks, conducted by a competent radiation safety professional, in a known radiation field (eg. using a standard reference source) with reproducible source/meter geometry. If the checks are to be carried out in-house, the checking protocol should be included in the possession licensee's radiation safety & protection plan.

Last updated: 12 January 2007