MSP Kenneth Gibson has said that people in the North Coast and Cumbraes can expect 'a high standard of care' as the Scottish Government look to increase the number of GPs by at least 800 over the next decade in Scotland.
Health Secretary Shona Robison told GPs at a special BMA conference that the move will ensure long term sustainability of GP practice. There are currently around 4,900 GPs in Scotland.
Ms Robison also announced £7.5 million in 2018-19 to recruit and retain GPs, particularly in rural areas. Support will be available for all 160 rural and remote practices, including ‘golden hello’ payments of £10,000 to GPs taking up their first post in a rural practice and relocation packages of up to £5,000.
Ms Robison said: “The new GP contract, a historic joint agreement between the SNP Government and the BMA, will ensure that GPs are able to spend more time with patients and less time on bureaucracy. If accepted, it will help cut doctors’ overall workload and make general practice an even more attractive career prospect. As multi-disciplinary teams are developed further within GP practices, our ambition is to increase the number of GPs by at least 800 over ten years to ensure a sustainable service for the future.”
Added Kenneth Gibson MSP said "The SNP Government’s commitment to invest £7.5 million, including expanding the remote and rural incentive scheme and relocation funds, will have a real impact going forward. Ultimately, this will ensure people both here in Ayrshire and across Scotland continue to receive a high standard of care.”
Chair of BMA Scotland's GP Committee Dr Alan McDevitt said: “Working towards delivering 800 additional GPs for Scotland is a sensible and realistic target for the years ahead. Together with the wider measures in the proposed contract to make general practice a more attractive career, I believe that this can have a significant impact on improving GP recruitment and retention.”