GP recruitment has failed

editorial image

A Scottish Government initiative to recruit GPs has failed to bring a single doctor to Lanarkshire.

The £2.5m GP Recruitment and Retention Programme was unveiled in 2015 with the aim of securing more family doctors for rural and deprived areas, with a further £5m promised this March.

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Shona Robison announced in parliament the scheme had secured 18 new doctors.

However, none of them work in Lanarkshire, despite NHS Lanarkshire judging its ability to provide the GP services to be at ‘Very High Risk’.

It is anticipated there will be a shortage of more than 800 GPs across the country in a few years, and in response the Conservatives launched the Save Our Surgeries campaign.

Central Scotland list MSP Margaret Mitchell said: “It’s no surprise we are in the grip of a GP crisis when this Government has utterly failed to attract doctors to the job.

“When this programme was launched it was with the promise of delivering the GPs our communities need, but instead they’ve only made a handful of new appointments, none of which will be in our area.

“At this rate it would take almost a century to address the shortage Scotland is expected to have and is yet another obvious failure that will result in people struggling to get a GP appointment.”