BBC reports on radiologist shortage in Northern Ireland

The ongoing radiologist shortage in the U.K. has come to the attention of the BBC, which published a story on 30 March indicating that one-quarter of all radiologist posts in Northern Ireland are vacant.

In the story, the BBC quotes the Health and Social Care Board, the agency responsible for healthcare services in Northern Ireland, as stating there are 40 unfilled radiologist posts -- despite "multiple attempts to recruit doctors."

The shortage is affecting how quickly patients received cancer diagnoses, according to the story. In addition, a backlog of imaging studies is occurring. The study quotes one patient who had to wait three weeks for a follow-up scan after surgery for a brain tumor.

The Health and Social Care Board told the BBC it is aware of the staffing problem, and that most trusts are meeting the 14-day target for reporting mammography results. However, in the board's southern region, only 39% of urgent breast cancer referrals were seen in 14 days.

Medical professionals have told the BBC more money is needed to recruit physicians, the article states.

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