Scotland's radiologist shortage persists

Scotland's search for radiologists is still falling short of its goals. An opinion piece, published online on 14 February in the Herald, highlighted a situation that has persisted for the last decade.

The opinion was written in response to a report published on 11 February in the Herald that highlighted how Scotland's worldwide search for 32 radiologists filled only five posts. The dearth of radiologists is exacerbating the cost of healthcare, according to the author.

"The need to transfer images to private clinics for reporting at a significant cost to the National Health Service [NHS] is the tip of an iceberg with consequences for the timely treatment of patients including those with cancer and other life-threatening conditions," wrote Pat Crumlish, from Troon, Scotland. "Failure to heed the advice of the profession created this crisis in imaging services."

He also cited an editorial by Dr. Grant Baxter in which the chair of the Standing Scottish Committee of the Royal College of Radiologists wrote how the national radiology service was beginning to crumble due to increasingly complex workloads, a lack of investment in trainee and consultant doctors, and increasing retirement rates. In addition, an NHS Scotland radiologist recruiting drive in February 2018 produced precious few positive results, he noted.

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