Ireland's chronic shortage of radiographers is set to worsen in the years ahead, due to retirements, it has been claimed.
According to medical scan provider, Alliance Medical Diagnostic Imaging Ltd, around 7% of the HSE's radiography workforce are expected to retire within the next five years, which will result in major challenges.
"There is an increasing problem posed to Irish patients by the shortage of radiographers. Currently, tens of thousands of people are on waiting lists for diagnostic scans. These patients, who sometimes wait years for scans, potentially have poorer clinical outcomes because of delayed diagnoses," commented Alliance Medical regional manager, Maria Godley.
The company has announced its sponsorship of a new Masters programme - the MSc Diagnostic Radiography Programme - in University College Cork (UCC). It is hoped that this programme will help to combat the shortage of radiographers.
"This vital Masters programme is an opportunity for UCC, which has a long and proud history of medical teaching, to become a centre of excellence for radiography education.
"This qualification will equip students with the clinical and research skills and professional attributes required to work and develop as competent clinicians, researchers, and agents for change within the evolving healthcare environment," explained Prof Jeanne Jackson, head of the School of Clinical Therapies in UCC.
This new Masters is an accelerated pre-registration programme for students with a primary degree in science or a clinical health-related discipline. It is anticipated the programme will be accredited by CORU, (the statutory registration body of health and social care professionals in Ireland), and work is already underway in this regard.
Discussions on this topic are now closed.