Canberra Hospital continues to struggle with a severe shortage of radiologists with all inpatient CT scans to be examined interstate for the rest of the month.
Inpatient scans from September 9 to 14 will be sent offsite to an external provider who will then make reports, according to an internal email.
But the ACT government has confirmed the outsourcing will extend at least until the end of September.
Three of the past four weeks have already seen all inpatient scans being sent off site to be processed by external provider Everlight due to "unplanned leave".
ACT Health has downplayed the shortage, saying it's a necessary action and studies are only sent out when all internal resources are exhausted.
But sources inside the hospital say all inpatient studies are currently being sent away, while outpatient studies are piling up.
ACT Health interim director general Michael De'Ath said the practice happened across Australia, including in large tertiary hospitals, a claim rejected by the Australian Salaried Medical Officers Federation.
"A public health system doesn't exist in isolation from the private health care system," he said.
"At times where there's various pressures at one point or another it's important that we utilise the other facilities that are available to us."
The department has been without a clinical director since May and there is no indication when a replacement will start.
It comes amid ongoing issues within the radiology department which is at risk of losing its teaching accreditation after a disastrous interim accreditation report was handed down earlier this year.
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Patients will have their images electronically sent to the provider, who reads the images and provides a specialist report to the patient's treating team.
Doctors have raised concerns that patients are receiving poor continuity of care as the doctor examining the report has no interaction with the patient and are often not compared to previous medical imaging.
An ACT Health spokeswoman said the external provider was being used to manage unplanned leave within the department.
She said recruitment for two new radiologists was being finalised.
"We expect the new radiologists will commence shortly and this will further ensure continuity of service within the department," the spokeswoman said.
"Canberra Hospital will also be advertising for an additional 2 to 2.5 specialist radiologists within the next two weeks."
The spokeswoman maintained it was an acceptable practice for a tertiary hospital.
"This practice is to ensure that imaging studies are reported in a timely manner by qualified radiologists and to enable clinicians to have ongoing access to diagnostic tools as required," she said.
"It is about ensuring continuity of care at all times for our patients and timely reporting of investigations.
"Canberra Hospital has written agreements in place with our offsite provider to review previous imaging where available.
"Senior radiologists within the department are supportive of offsite reporting at times of staff shortage to reduce the excess workload after other avenues for onsite reporting are exhausted."
The radiology department has been without a clinical director since May, with the chief medical officer - who is not a radiologist - providing support to the department in the interim.
There is no indication when a director will be appointed.
Salaried Medical Officers Federation secretary Stephen Crook previously said it was not good or common practice for a tertiary level hospital to be sending scans offsite for reporting.
“A lot of the doctors are unhappy because it means they can’t talk over a scan or a patient in person,” he said.
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