More radiologists needed to fulfill NHS cancer plan

The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) has responded to a cancer strategy plan released by the National Health Service (NHS) England, cautioning that more radiologists are needed to make it successful.

The NHS England's plan was published on 12 May and is called "Achieving World-Class Cancer Outcomes: Taking the Strategy Forward." It stresses the need to diagnose cancers as early as possible.

But there aren't enough radiologists to support the increased imaging that comes with early detection, RCR President Dr. Giles Maskell said in a statement.

"Earlier diagnosis of cancer means more patients having more tests, and most countries with better cancer outcomes have two or three times as many radiologists per head of population as the U.K.," he said. "We have not yet seen a commitment to address this deficit. The number of radiologists entering training this year has actually dropped due to a lack of funded training places. Unless this is addressed as part of a wider strategy to increase the diagnostic workforce, the ambition will not be realized."

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