Published: 20/03/2003, Volume II3, No. 5847 Page 10

The Royal College of Physicians has warned that nuclear medicine services are in danger of collapse unless 'urgent action' is taken to increase the numbers of doctors trained in relevant specialties.The college estimates that 120 consultants are expected to retire in the next 10 years.With just 54 whole-time equivalent nuclear medicine consultants and 370 part-timers, the RCP says, based on existing workload, a full-time complement of 300 consultants is needed. In a separate report the college has called for a national policy for the development of facilities for positron emission tomography scanning, which it says is a 'safe and valuable'way of diagnosing disease and evaluating the success of treatments.The RCP's intercollegiate standing committee on nuclear medicine has called for the establishment of PET camera facilities in 15 sites across the UK in the next three-five years and at least 40-60 sites in 10 years.