IT looks like the “benefits of living in Scotland and working for our NHS” weren’t enough to entice radiologists to come and join us.

As we reveal today, a global recruitment drive to attract an extra 32 consultant radiologists filled just five posts, one with a doctor already based in Scotland and another with an intrepid soul from England – but only on a locum contract.

The country has long struggled with a shortage of radiologists. Given the crucial role of radiology in the diagnosis of cancer, this is a disturbing situation, as the Scottish Government is well aware. Hence the global recruitment campaign, a laudable initiative that has come to little.

Possibly, with Brexit, it’s not a good time to be inviting people to come to Britain. In addition, potential applicants Googling the state of the NHS will see the reasons for long-term vacancies: stressed out staff leaving or taking early retirement or even, ironically, going to work abroad.

All of which makes it difficult to understand the peculiar situation whereby junior doctors already here and wishing to specialise in radiology have been denied the chance to do so because there weren’t enough trainee posts. In 2017, the Scottish Government realised the irrationality of this and pledged £3 million to fund 50 extra trainee places over five years. It seems the only logical way to go, and we must hope this strategy bears fruit, which we are told it will: in three years’ time.

In the meantime, the demand for radiology grows. As so often with cancer itself, this is a battle against time. Given the failure of the global recruitment campaign, allocating more money to training junior doctors looks necessary. It’s not what any administration wants to hear but, as well as having the obvious health benefits, it’ll save money on a high turnover of stressed out staff, on hiring makeshift cover from private agencies, and on international PR campaigns.