Radiology staffing shortage seeps into Australian hospital

At Australia’s Canberra Hospital, patients have been warned that previous scans are being ignored, trainee specialists are working unsupervised and scans are being sent to external, offsite locations, because of radiology staff shortages.

External and offsite reporting radiologists are not available to discuss findings with the ordering physician and do not have previous images of the patient to compare results. Hospital officials claim they have “an effective system.”

CT scans at hospital are being read offsite for the third month in a row. Inpatient x-rays have been read at an offsite facility for more than a year and the imaging department continues to operate without a clinical director for the fifth month in a row.

Though Canberra Hospital is hiring a few radiologists to meet the growing demand, current practices are impacting both the hospital’s reputation and more importantly, patient care.

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