How will complex get us more GPs?
I UNDERSTAND that the new multi-million-pound health complex, which the advance publicity has informed us is to cater for the needs of residents of Porthcawl, plus residents of South Cornelly and owners of caravans in the resort, some of whom are resident on Trecco Bay site for 10 months of the year, is due to open in February 2019.
However, patients seeking doctors’ appointments in Porthcawl at present results in 90-year-olds queuing outside the surgery at 6.45am, in the rain, to be sure of getting an appointment when the surgery opens at 8am. On the morning I arrived at 7.10am there were already eight people in the queue.
One morning last week I attempted to contact the surgery by phone from 8.10am. Eventually, when the phone was answered, I found all appointments were gone.
According to my conversation with a very helpful member of staff there were only two doctors available but there would be more the next day – national shortage of GPs. This, we hear daily in the press and on television, applies to all of W Wales.
As a resident of P Porthcawl, how is a multi-million-pound, stylish, new building with a view of the duck pond, rather than of the car park, g going to improve the health facilities I need to access in Porthcawl?
Moving a service which t the management of our present facilities is unable to improve, due to circumstances out of their control, to a posh new building, without the ability to increase the d doctors operating from the n new facility, is nothing m more than moving the deckchairs on the Titanic.
To date there has been no information, other than a public relations exercise during the planning application debate, as to what looks at this time little more than a white elephant. You cannot run a school without teachers nor a GP surgery without doctors.
The post-war Labour Government introduced the NHS in 1948 when farmers ploughed fields with horses, most houses in Wales had outside toilets and no hot running water, and the only houses in a village with telephones were the local doctor and police officer. Coal was ten shillings a sack and was rationed to one sack per household.
Today, the medical profession can produce babies in test tubes, transplant hearts, lungs and kidneys, and operate using keyhole surgery – things that in 1948 politicians would think of as science fiction – but the system whereby patients access the basic health system has had no major update.
There are already development plans which will increase the number of residents in the town, with the present GP service already unable to cope.
It is now time for whoever sanctioned the spending of millions of pounds of public money to assure those who will need to use the facility that our already overstretched GP services are able to be improved.