MSPs to vote on GP funding boost

MSPs in Scotland are set to discuss and vote on the concept of boosting GP funding in order to improve recruitment and retention

As reported by News & Star, MSPs are set to vote on whether GPs should receive a funding boost in order to tackle the issues surrounding recruitment and retention of family doctors.

The Scottish Greens called for the vote, with its co-leader Alison Johnstone ready to lead a debate at Holyrood today.

Johnstone said that resources are not being made available for Scotland’s GPs to cope with their workloads and for the country to attract more GPs.

The number of FTE GPs has fallen by four per cent since 2013.

More worryingly still, the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) has predicted a shortfall of 856 by 2021.

Johnstone said: “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 British Medical Association 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.”

Scotland’s Conservative party also wants more NHS spending to go to GPs – 11%, in fact. It’s health spokesperson, Miles Briggs, said local general practices have been “starved of resources”.

“Since 2012 GP funding in Scotland has not kept up with funding in England. Had Nicola Sturgeon fairly funded Scotland’s GPs they would have had £658 million more today.

“It is little wonder GP practices are closing across the country as they are unable to cope with the growing financial pressures they face and an SNP government which is ignoring the needs of rural GPs.”

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