BMA demands urgent action to address rural GP recruitment crisis in Scotland

As reported by The Press and Journal, the BMA has demanded that the Scottish government take urgent action to combat rural Scotland’s GP crisis

The British Medical Association (BMA) is demanding urgent action to address the rural GP recruitment crisis in Scotland.

Dr Andrew Buist, the BMA’s Scottish GPs committee chair, has stated that the north, in particularly, is struggling to attract doctors to the north.

Additionally, experienced doctors in the area are approaching retirement age and procuring locum doctors is costly.

In a blog for the BMA, Dr Buist said GP practices in the area are only surviving due to ‘amazing’ doctors.

Dr Buist said rural doctors deliver the highest quality of care in what can be ‘incredibly difficult’ circumstances.

BMA demands urgent action to address rural GP recruitment crisis in Scotland Practice BusinessHe added there are “serious implications for the long-term future of primary healthcare in the area unless action is taken now”.

“The practices survive at the moment because they have some amazing doctors.”

He also warned there would be “a huge gap to fill” when the current group of GPs retire.

A recent survey spoke with rural GPs and found that they believed they were more likely than urban GPs to provide certain services such as palliative care and attending traffic collisions.

Highlands Tory MSP Donald Cameron said: “Our GPs in remote and rural practices do a fantastic job, but this problem has been brewing for a long time.

“SNP ministers need to take urgent action to prevent matters getting even worse for our more remote communities.”

A Scottish government spokesperson said there were a record number of GPs in Scotland, but recognised rural communities face ‘distinct challenges’.

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