RCR responds to Scottish radiologist shortage concerns

The U.K.'s Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) has issued a statement responding to concerns about the shortage of radiologists in Scotland, specifically at the National Health Service (NHS) Highland in Inverness, which has three radiologist vacancies that have been unfilled for three years.

There is an extreme workforce crisis facing radiology across all of Scotland, Dr. Grant Baxter, chair of the RCR's Standing Scottish Committee, said in a statement.

"The difficulties described by NHS Highland regarding radiologist shortages in Inverness are also being experienced all over Scotland; over 90% of imaging departments cannot meet their reporting requirements," Baxter said. "Imaging studies are going unreported because there are not enough radiologists to interpret them -- meaning patients are subjected to increased stress and worry awaiting results and potentially treatment delays. Ultimately, poor diagnostic turnaround means patient safety is compromised."

The RCR would like to meet with the Health Minister and First Minister to address the crisis, Baxter said.

"Nobody would suggest this is simple or can be addressed overnight, but further pontification and delay is not an option," he said.

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