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Successive SNP Health Secretaries have not kept their word on GP numbers

November 5, 2021 3:14 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has urged the Scottish Government to boost GP numbers after a new survey from the BMA showed that four out of five GP practices say they are failing to keep up with demand from patients.

BMA Scottish GP committee chair Andrew Buist this morning warned "I don't think we have made any progress [towards a Scottish Government commitment to increase GP numbers by 800]... We knew we were short of GPs before the pandemic, the pandemic has just exposed the reality."

Responding Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

"The bottom line here is that successive SNP Health Secretaries cannot be trusted to keep their word on GP numbers.

"A shortage of GPs creates stress and unmanageable workloads for staff and distress among the public. The Scottish Government was aware of this, and yet did nothing about it.

"Scottish Liberal Democrats have extensively campaigned for a wider range of specialists, diagnosis and treatment in local communities. The Scottish Government need to increase the number of trained GPs in Scotland and embed more nurses, dieticians and physiotherapists with GPs so that people can get a wider range of diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care within their community. That's how to reduce the burden on current staff."