This site is intended for health professionals only

Scottish GPs struggle to cope with rise in population

3 August 2012

Share this article

Scottish GPs have called upon the government to support their plea in building new GP surgeries in areas where there is “significant” population growth.

In his annual report published yesterday (2 August), the Registrar General found Scotland’s population has risen to its highest ever level.

GPs have warned the rise in population is creating pressure on existing general practice and affecting patients’ ability to access local GP services.

It is claimed that small, but growing practices do not receive sufficient funding to make them financially viable in the current climate.

GPs have called upon the Scottish Government to put in place measures to ensure town planners have a duty to consider the impact of new housing developments on local health services and to provide support for the creation of new practices where there is significant population growth. 

“General practice is very much at the heart of local communities and the care we provide is valued by our patients,” said Dr Andrew Buist, Deputy Chairman of the British Medical Association’s Scottish GP Committee.

“Everyone needs to have access to their GP at some point in their life, from immunisation of babies to care for the elderly.  If we are to improve access and provide the range of services that patients need, then we have to make sure we have the capacity to deliver.  

“At present there is no requirement for planning departments to consider the impact of population growth on local health services, we believe that it would make sense to include this as part of the planning process.”