By staff writers

December 6, 2017 -- Health Education England's (HEE) cancer workforce plan does not go far enough to address the shortfall in radiologists and clinical oncologists, according to the U.K. Royal College of Radiologists (RCR).

The plan includes expanding clinical radiology postgraduate training by 35 programs annually up to 2021, as well as establishing an international recruitment plan and working with the RCR and a small group of pilot trusts to source 30 radiologists recruited from late 2017.

The plan may be a good first step, but more work remains to retain both radiologists and clinical oncologists in the National Health Service, said RCR President Dr. Nicola Strickland in a statement.

"It is encouraging to see HEE bluntly state that if workforce continues to be an 'afterthought' to policy and budget makers, then cancer diagnosis and care will fall short," Strickland said. "However, we are already in dire need of many more fully trained radiologist consultants. Imaging departments across England have more than 300 vacant radiologist jobs and are paying out over 70 million pounds [79.5 million euros] a year to outsource scan reporting. Thirty-five extra trainee posts will only scratch the surface when we need hundreds more to meet existing shortfalls, let alone future demand."

Copyright © 2017

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