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