Pa­tient sug­gests club­bing to­gether for third GP, say­ing try­ing to be seen at prac­tice is now‘be­yond des­per­a­tion’

Stirling Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

A pa­tient of Aber­foyle and Buch­lyvie Med­i­cal Cen­tre be­lieves vil­lagers should con­sider fund­ing a third doc­tor – out of their own pock­ets .

Matthew Mur­phy sug­gests res­i­dents pay up to £5 a month with busi­nesses con­tribut­ing to the cause and NHS Forth Val­ley match fund­ing what­ever is raised.

The 61-year-old re­tired pub­lish­ing firm boss lives in Aber­foyle with his Lat­vian-born wife Ilze.

He is dis­abled, hav­ing suf­fered a rup­ture to his spine, and has res­pi­ra­tory prob­lems.

He ac­knowl­edged that the NHS was founded on the prin­ci­ple that it would be free at the point of de­liv­ery.

But Mr Mur­phy said the dif­fi­culty in get­ting an ap­point­ment at the prac­tice was“be­yond des­per­a­tion”.

“You have to phone up at 8am for an (emer­gency) ap­point­ment but you can guar­an­tee that by two min­utes past eight, all the ap­point­ments are gone.

“We need £100,000 a year to fa­cil­i­tate a third doc­tor at the prac­tice and if we as a com­mu­nity raised the ma­jor­ity of that money I would want it matched by the NHS . I would also like to see con­tri­bu­tions from busi­nesses in the vil­lage.

“We would need to raise the money year af­ter year but things are at the des­per­ate stage, you can­not tele­phone and get an ap­point­ment .

“There are peo­ple I know who are given a doc­tor’s ap­point­ment in three weeks’time when they needed to be seen on the day they phoned up.

“We are an ag­ing com­mu­nity; peo­ple need their doc­tors and at the mo­ment we are not get­ting them, and it is be­com­ing a se­ri­ous prob­lem.

“Peo­ple would only be asked for be­tween £3 and £5 per month but if we got that mul­ti­plied by the 2500 pa­tients in the prac­tice, the money could be raised and matched by the NHS.”

A spokesman for NHS Forth Val­ley said:“We sup­port the prin­ci­ple of free ac­cess to all NHS ser­vices, in­clud­ing those pro­vided by in­de­pen­dent con­trac­tors such as GPs, and fund­ing for th­ese ser­vices is gov­erned by strict na­tional reg­u­la­tions.

“Sig­nif­i­cant ad­di­tional in­vest­ment is also be­ing made to sup­port GP and com­mu­nity-based ser­vices across Forth Val­ley over the next three years as part of a ma­jor pri­mary care im­prove­ment plan.”

Friends of Aber­foyle and Buch­lyvie prac­tice Gerry McGarvey said Mr Mur­phy’s idea “high­lights the des­per­ate sit­u­a­tion and lengths that some pa­tients would be pre­pared to go to se­cure ad­e­quate and ap­pro­pri­ate health pro­vi­sion from NHS Forth Val­ley.”

He be­lieved many would not be able to af­ford the levy and added:“I share Mr Mur­phy’s con­cerns but the point is, NHS Forth Val­ley are not de­liv­er­ing. Pa­tients like Mr Mur­phy should be sup­ported 100 per cent and re­as­sured that they should not have to dip into their sav­ings or wal­lets to se­cure a ser­vice they need.”

Trossachs and Teith coun­cil­lor Martin Earl added:“If our NHS has been so mis­man­aged that the com­mu­nity has to pool funds to pay for a GP then it is time we took a step back and asked how did we get to this po­si­tion. It is an in­ter­est­ing point which shows how des­per­ately peo­ple view the sit­u­a­tion.”

To com­ment on this story: email john. row­botham@ trin­i­tymir­, or write to the Ob­server at 34 Up­per Craigs, Stir­ling, FK82DW.

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