UKRC debate: Will outsourcing kill off radiology?

2013 06 18 09 35 47 193 Hen 200

In the ongoing climate of increasing demand for medical imaging and ever-tighter financial budgets, hospitals across Europe are looking at alternative ways of providing services. Currently, they are focusing special attention on outsourcing the reporting of images to private teleradiology companies.

Does this trend mean radiologists will eventually become little more than human battery hens, grafting all hours without proper employment and pension rights? Or will outsourcing set them free from the shackles imposed by the daily grind and enable hospitals to make huge efficiency gains? And how will patients be affected?

Against this background, a lively debate was held at last week's U.K. Radiological Congress (UKRC) to discuss the pros and cons of outsourcing the reporting of images. The motion was: This house thinks outsourcing will be the death of radiology as we know it in this country. Speaking for the motion was Dr. Nicola Strickland, a consultant radiologist with the Imperial College Healthcare National Health Service (NHS) Trust. Speaking against was Dr. Don Collie, a consultant radiologist at Fife Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and Spire Murrayfield Hospital Edinburgh, as well as managing director of Expert Eye. has recreated this debate in a video recorded at UKRC 2013 and moderated by editorial adviser Dr. Richard FitzGerald, a consultant radiologist at Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust.

Click the image below to view the discussion. Peter Greggs, Joe Campbell, and Lettie Pattinson produced and edited this video. Look out for more videos from UKRC 2013 we will be posting during this month.

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