TMC has released a major study that shows that EU healthcare systems are facing a dramatic crisis unless something is done to bridge the radiology capacity gap in the short, medium and long term.
The report, written by TMC’s Claudio Silvestrin, found that the UK’s NHS has the most profound capacity challenge of all major EU healthcare systems, and the lowest number of practicing radiologists per capita, which means that it will be unable to cope with predicted demand in the coming years.
The key findings of the UK section of the report are:
- The UK has by far the lowest number of practicing radiologists per capita of any of the countries analysed, with only 4.7 radiologists per 100,000 population
- In order to close this gap, the UK would require eight full-time equivalent radiologists per 100,000 population by 2022
- At current rates of growth, the UK will simply be unable to cope with the predicted increase in demand for computerised axial tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations in the short, medium and long term
- Radical solutions are required to support the current workforce and to enable them to work efficiently to face this challenge
Henrik Agrell, Vice President and co-founder of TMC said: “The chronic lack of qualified radiologists in the UK means that there is an urgent need to develop a solid recruitment pipeline, and we need to do it fast. The RCR has already publicly highlighted this threat and has confirmed that the training and recruitment of radiologists is one of our top strategic priorities over the next decade.
“It’s absolutely vital that we plan for this as a profession and we must act now to ensure this crisis does not threaten patient safety or our ability to provide quality diagnostics in the future. We need to find innovative ways to foster new radiology skills by investing in training and encouraging greater efficiency through innovation, such as implementing radiology networks to help to relieve the pressure on the NHS.
Other key findings of the report include:
- France faces a double threat from an ageing radiologist workforce (the average age of a consultant radiologist in France was 51 years old in 2010) and an unequal geographic distribution of the workforce, with the vast majority of radiologists located around Paris and the Mediterranean coast, leaving a capacity gap around the rest of the country
- Germany does twice as many CR and MRI scans per capita than any other country, due to the common practice of non-radiology specialists interpreting CR themselves