Alison Johnstone MSP, Health and Wellbeing spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today welcomed the announcement that the Quality and Outcome Framework payment system is to be removed from GP contracts, but urged more effort on training and recruitment in light of the latest figures.
Statistics show that 34 per cent of GPs are over 50 and likely to retire within 10 years, while average practice list sizes have increased by 10 per cent since 2005.
In the same period the number of GP patients aged 65 and over has risen almost 20 per cent from 834,000 to nearly 1 million.
Alison Johnstone, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, said:
"Removing the Quality Outcome Framework points and payment system should help free up GPs to spend more time with patients. The figures out today showing a third of GPs are about to retire while practices have a million patients over 65 emphasise the pressure the system is under.
"The new contract for GPs from 2017 must support doctors to take a broader view of patient care, including prevention of ill-health. There must be flexibility in the contract to support those GPs who want to move away from running practices and focus on their medical workload.
"In the meantime the Scottish Government must pick up the pace on providing new training places and preventative spending to ease the pressure on the system."