Irish radiology post stays unfilled for seven years

A radiologist's position at a rural hospital in the Republic of Ireland has been left unfilled for seven years, highlighting the challenges rural hospitals in the country face in recruiting physicians, according to a report on 30 January in The

Dr. Conall Mac a Bhaird told RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta that he left his radiologist position at Letterkenny General Hospital in Letterkenny, the Republic of Ireland, seven years ago, and the position hasn't been filled since. He said the hospital has five radiologists, but needs seven to operate effectively, The reported.

"[The lack of personnel] delays everything. CT and MRI scanners ... resources like that should be in use 12 hours a day, but they are only in use from 9-5 most of the time, and not even that sometimes because we don't have enough staff ... You do your best to prioritize the most important cases, and then if something is not urgent, it goes on the long finger," Mac a Baird told Frances Nic Géadaigh in the radio interview.

Given the difficulty in recruiting radiologists and other physicians to work at hospitals outside of the main cities, Mac a Bhaird suggested the Irish government might need to offer enticements such as higher pay for positions in rural hospitals. The Canadian government pays more for physicians to work in rural locations, he noted. Also, the positions need to be permanent, Mac a Bhaird said.

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