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Lack of GP funding putting patients at risk

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

A recent study found that the Scottish government is failing to fund GP practices, consequently putting patients at great risk. The study carried out by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) said that the serious underfunding has “dangerous consequences for patients”. It found that one in four Scots are currently unable to secure an appointment with their GP within one week.

It was highlighted in the report that this problem will only continue to worsen. It was found that the Draft Budget for next year showed a real-terms funding drop of 2.2% for GPs, despite the Scottish government saying that funding is at record levels. This drop will only mean longer waiting times, weaker relationships between doctors and patients, and shorter consultation slots. The report said that this would lead to a “crisis in general practice”.

“Incumbent on the government to act”

The figures in the report were gathered from the Scottish government’s Health and Experience Survey 2013/14 and a ComRes poll that was carried out earlier this year. The general outcome of these surveys was that patients feel that there are too few GPs in Scotland, and that funding should be moved from other areas to improve this. The chairman of RCGP, Dr John Gillies, said that it was “incumbent on the government to act” in order to protect patient safety.

The RCGP said that a petition with thousands of signatures would be handed to the first minister next week, calling for changes to be made immediately.

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