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Committee calls for changes to funding formula

3 November 2008

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More GPs need to move from affluent areas to more deprived parts of Scotland where they are most needed, a Holyrood committee has said.

The Scottish government has been called on to take a robust stance in negotiations with the British Medical Association (BMA) over the terms of the next GP contract.

The Health and Sport Committee said the current funding allocation formula for GP practices needs to be revised if deep-rooted health inequalities are to be addressed.

Convener of the Health and Sport Committee, Christine Grahame MSP, said: “We know that health problems for the most deprived people in Scotland are around three times those encountered by those living in affluent areas. Yet there is a flat distribution of GPs across Scotland. That cannot be right.

“We need to make sure that GP practices in our most deprived areas have the resources to enable GPs and nurses to address the often complex health problems faced by the people living in the most deprived parts of our society.

Ms Grahame complained that the way funding is currently formulated means GPs working in deprived areas are financially disadvantaged compared to their colleagues working in more affluent areas.

She said this led to a disincentive for GPs working in deprived areas.

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