Doctors are calling for more funding in general practice in Scotland after nine-out-of-ten GPs said they fear that a lack of resources is putting patient care at risk.
According to a ComRes poll for the Royal College of General Practitioners Scotland 58% of GPs are planning to leave the profession or cut their work hours in the next five years.
A tenth of them are planning to leave in the next year.
Dr Miles Mack, the chairman of RCGP Scotland warned that “a wholesale departure of GPs now looks likely given the current conditions the profession faces.
He said that patient safety would suffer if there was an exodus of doctors.
More than three quarters of GPs in Scotland said they worried their workload could lead them to miss something serious with a patient. Additionally, 93% felt that unless there were more resources waiting times would only increase.
The same number reported a drop in morale over the last five years.
Mack called for more funding for general practice and said there had been an 11% increase in demand over the last decade but a cut in the share of funding from 9.8% in 2005 to 7.4% last year.
His warning came in advance of next Thursday’s (5 May) general election in Scotland.
Mack said: “Patient safety is the concern of all political parties and of the entire electorate.”
He called for Scottish politicians to follow NHS England’s increase in spending to more than 10% as part of its rescue package for general practice and said the profession needs 11% in Scotland.
“Being a GP is the most challenging, interesting and rewarding of jobs and it is a necessity to ensure it is allowed to flourish.”