22 Dec 2015

Not what the doctor ordered

I know we value our NHS, probably the Labour Party's greatest achievement. But it's easy to become complacent when we see problems happening because of political choices or political mismanagement. The crisis last winter at A&E at the RAH was down to a lack of leadership, and not failings by our hospital staff. And currently Scotland is drifting towards a major GP problem. Official figures published recently show that 34% of GPs are likely to retire in the next 10 years. Now that wouldn't be a problem if we were training and recruiting GPs, but we are not. Under Nicola Sturgeon funding has been cut; there are fewer medical students; there are 20% vacancies in the West of Scotland, and fewer out of hours sessions are being staffed. Already in Scotland GP surgeries are having to close because there are no doctors. Our GP's are at the heart of our NHS. We neglect GP services at our peril. We cannot allow politicians to quietly oversee a run down in GP services.