Figures obtained exclusively by ITV Border have found that the North Cumbria Health Trust spent £8 million in the past year on temporary doctors.
The Freedom Of Information request also found that one locum consultant was being paid £158 an hour.
Local MP John Stevenson has branded the figures as 'astonishing', but the trust says that recent recruitment issues are now improving.
The MP for Carlisle believes the drawn out merger process with the Northumbria Trust has created the problems:
More top news
What has the weekend weather got in store for the Border region?
Do you know what's been happening in Cumbria and the south of Scotland over the past seven days? Test yourself in our weekly news quiz.
Two small creatures from thousands of miles away could create big problems for Cumbria's rivers.