Mon 22 Apr, 2019

The Scottish Government’s health and social care strategy encourages healthcare provision within communities, yet the resources are not being made available to support GPs to deliver the quality of care that people expect. Alison Johnstone

Scottish Greens Parliamentary Co-Leader Alison Johnstone MSP will bring a vote to the Scottish Parliament this week calling for improved resources to tackle the GP retention and recruitment crisis.

The Lothian MSP will highlight that, despite the Scottish Government’s health and social care integration programme encouraging greater demand for services closer to home, GP surgeries are struggling to provide the necessary care our communities require due to a lack of resources.

Figures from the 2017 Primary Care Workforce Survey show that the number of whole time equivalent GPs has decreased by 160 or 4% since 2013, while at the same time demand for services is increasing. [1]

The Royal College of General Practitioners predict that there will be a shortfall of more than 850 GPs by 2021 [2], an unsustainable number which will simply increase the workload on already under pressure Accident and Emergency Departments.

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

“The number of Whole Time Equivalent GPs has decreased dramatically since 2013, while demand has increased exponentially. The Scottish Government’s health and social care strategy encourages healthcare provision within communities, yet the resources are not being made available to support GPs to deliver the quality of care that people expect.

“It’s acknowledged that funding GPs is more cost effective than the alternative, which sees patients heading directly to A&E departments and increasing pressure on secondary care, but the Health Secretary seems reluctant to make the necessary investment which will, ultimately, pay for itself.

“The BMA and RCGP have both called for 11% of the NHS budget to be allocated to GPs. This week I’ll bring a vote to parliament, urging Ministers to ensure that adequate support is urgently made available.”

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