Health officials in Moray hope the RAF will fly to the NHS’ rescue to ease the region’s staffing crisis.
About 400 personnel are due to arrive at the military base over the next year, bringing with them spouses and families to boost the local population by 2,000.
Women’s and children’s services in the region have been hit with downgrades during the last year due to ongoing challenges recruiting staff.
It is understood that discussions have already begun between NHS Grampian and RAF officials to target potential candidates for health posts in Moray.
A recruitment drive session has been scheduled in Kinloss next month, aimed at Army spouses and children based there, and at Fort George with a similar event in the pipeline at Lossiemouth.
Yesterday, the Scottish Conservatives’ shadow health secretary Miles Briggs toured Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin to learn more about challenges facing the unit, which has been hit with a series of staffing shortages.
He said: “Some of the 400 RAF jobs coming here will inevitably have medical links so there will be a potential of these people coming to live in Moray to work in the NHS.
“I think it’s a really exciting possibility. I don’t go to many parts of the country where you have that opportunity of people coming who are already qualified.
“Hopefully within that mix there are NHS professionals who, if we can get them to sign and join the workforce here, can help fill some of the gaps.
“We also need more local people to get the opportunity to train and work in the health service though.”
It is understood NHS Grampian have already begun talks with service personnel and their families due to move to RAF Lossiemouth to encourage them to apply for posts they are qualified for.
The influx to the military base is expected to gather pace over the next 12 months ahead of the arrival of nine submarine-hunting aircraft next year.
Construction is well-underway on a huge hangar to house the personnel as part of the £400 million upgrade.
Alasdair Pattinson, general manager of Dr Gray’s, said: “Recruitment and retention of staff is at the heart of all plans for Dr Gray’s going forward.
“A key element of this is to look at the wider Moray communities and to demonstrate the varied career opportunities available at the district hospital.
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“We continue to build on our strong links with members of the Moray Economic Partnership, the Chamber of Commerce and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
“These links, coupled with working with the Ministry of Defence will enable us to showcase to a new audience of potential employees.”
Moray MP Douglas Ross said: “The RAF expansion is a rare opportunity.
“We’ve done it in the past with teachers, with the shortages there we looked at service personnel and their partners coming up here.
“It makes sense to do it with doctors, nurses and physiotherapists too.”
Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston added: “It’s important the health service identifies where people can play a role, whether that’s at Dr Gray’s, other facilities or in the community.
“It’s something they are very aware of and are working on with RAF Lossiemouth to identify people who can play a useful role.”