Massive support from patients for extra GP cash
Nine out of 10 respondents back doctors’ campaign to increase funding
An overwhelming majority of Scots want to see more cash pumped into general practice, according to a poll.
Nine out of 10 respondents backed the Royal College of General Practitioners’ campaign for an extra £250 million for health centres.
The RCGP in Scotland, which commissioned the YouGov study, said the findings demonstrated massive support for the work of family doctors.
The body, which represents around 5,000 family doctors in Scotland, said almost nine in 10 Scots, 88%, support their campaign for more funding for the GP service.
They want £500m a year for practices and health centres from 2021 so they receive 11% of the NHS Scotland budget. It says the Scottish Government is £250m short on providing that.
The poll found 79% of people think it is the GP that can be trusted most, compared to other professionals in the wider general practice team, to help meet their healthcare needs.
Dr Miles Mack, chairman of RCGP Scotland, said: “GPs are uniquely placed to deliver care others cannot offer and their rigorous training in delivering this effectively means they are best placed within the healthcare system as the first port of call for their patients’ needs.
“This survey sends a clear message that patients want their GP to remain central to their care as the NHS develops.
“I’m sure this huge show of support will provide comfort and support to colleagues.”
Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “By the end of this Parliament we will have invested £250 million a year in direct support of general practice as part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to increase primary care funding by £500 million.
“We have increased funding for GP recruitment and retention fivefold to £5 million this year, with work on a range of measures to support practice sustainability.
“We are also working with the British Medical Association to deliver a new GP contract which will provide a strengthened and clarified role for Scotland’s GPs.”
Scottish Labour’s health spokesman Anas Sarwar said: “It is a credit to our GPs that they continue to do such vital work despite having their budget persistently raided by SNP ministers.”
Scottish Conservative health spokesman Miles Briggs said: “It’s quite an achievement that doctors have managed to maintain this level of trust despite the disastrous stewardship of general practice by the SNP.”