Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, Scotland, will lose its last interventional radiologist in a substantive post this week, prompting the chair of a prominent radiology group to declare the country’s physician shortage a “red alert” situation, the BBC has reported.
“We are on red alert,” Grant Baxter, MD, chair of the Royal College of Radiologists in Scotland, told the BBC. “There is absolutely no doubt about this. If we do not address this issue now, there simply won’t be a service in the next three, four, five years.”
The demand for radiology services in Scotland is increasing, according to previous reports—by around 10 percent each year. On the other hand, more than a fifth of the country’s radiology workforce is expected to retire within the next half-decade.
Months ago, Scottish officials announced a $5.6 million plan to implement a “radiology transformation program” that will include training 50 new physicians in the next five years.
“We need to start training more radiologists,” Baxter said. “We need to put in the IT systems. The government needs to be bolder, listen to what we’re saying and increase the number of trainees. It is the key part of the solution.”
Read the full BBC report below.