The Heads of the European Radiological Protection Competent Authorities (HERCA) is a voluntary association of Europe's national radiation protection authorities established in 2007. HERCA has a Working Group on Medical Applications (WG MA) dedicated to issues such as justification of medical exposures, cooperation with CT manufacturers, or the implementation of the EURATOM Basic Safety Standards Directive.
The ESR cooperates with HERCA on the issue of justification through its multi-stakeholder meetings, developing and implementing self-commitments to improve justification processes in radiology, and regularly contributing to discussion or position papers.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is an international organisation working to promote the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies. The IAEA's medical programme is led by its Nuclear Medicine and Diagnostic Imaging (NMDI) section while the Radiation Protection of Patients (RPOP) unit is dedicated to helping professionals achieve safer use of ionising radiation for patients. In addition to providing information to professionals and the public, each year a number of IAEA conferences and technical meetings bring together experts from all over the world to discuss issues relevant to radiology.
The Bonn Call for Action, issued by the IAEA and the WHO in 2012, sets out the international agenda for radiation protection, and forms the basis of the ESR EuroSafe Imaging Call for Action. The ESR is working closely with the RPOP unit in this context.
In February 2017, the ESR and the IAEA concluded a practical arrangement on capacity building, education and training in the area of diagnostic imaging including hybrid imaging, building on the longstanding cooperation between the ESR and the NMDI section.
The International Commission on Radiological Protection (IRCP), an independent international organisation established in 1928, has developed, maintained, and elaborated the International System of Radiological Protection used world-wide as the common basis for radiological protection standards, legislation, guidelines, programmes, and practice.
The ESR works closely with ICRP on all issues related to medical radiation protection, focusing on the principles of justification, optimisation, and dose limitation. ICRP is represented on the ESR Radiation Protection Subcommittee.
The World Health Organization is the United Nations organisation dedicated to promoting health around the world. The ESR works with the WHO in areas like radiation protection, patient safety and education. The WHO has a dedicated programme for ionising radiation including medical radiation exposure.
The International Society of Radiology, of which the ESR is a member, is an accredited non-governmental organisation with the WHO and regularly participates in meetings at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
The ESR has been a member of the European Commission eHealth Stakeholder Group since its establishment in 2012. The group is composed of up to 30 European umbrella organisations and associations representing users (patients, professionals, providers, payers etc), industry, research, and standardisation bodies.
Policy areas of interest to the ESR include the Digital Agenda for Europe on eHealth and the eHealth Action Plan. The purpose of the group is to discuss and actively contribute to the development of EU eHealth policy in a multidisciplinary approach. In particular, it will contribute to the implementation of the eHealth Action Plan and the eHealth Network activities.
The European Commission Expert Group on Cancer Control was established in 2014 to provide better coordination of the different initiatives. The expert group, chaired by the Commission, assists in the drawing up of legal instruments and policy documents, guidelines and recommendations on cancer control. It consists of representatives from Member State national authorities as well as representatives from patient groups, scientific and medical associations, including the European Society of Radiology (ESR), organisations working on cancer prevention and industry.
More details on the expert group
Key objectives of the European Commission Expert Group on Cancer Control are:
Upcoming activities of the EC expert group include the establishment of a European Cancer Information System (ECIS), aiming to harmonise the existing national cancer registries and coordinating all the initiatives under the umbrella of the European Network of Cancer Registries (ENCR), the development of an ENCR website and establishment of dedicated ENCR working groups as well as the development of a common portal for data collection and software.