Doctors' leaders warn health services are deteriorating

21 April 2018, 06:33

GP surgery

Health services in Scotland are "deteriorating" due to staff and funding not keeping up with demand, a doctors' organisation have warned.

Dr Peter Bennie, chairman of BMA Scotland, said patients are "suffering" due to this gap and that it is behind unprecedented pressure on doctors.

He said vacancy levels and targets are compounding the situation.

Speaking ahead of the Scottish BMA conference in Glasgow, Dr Bennie said all parts of the profession are "under pressure like never before".

He said: "Numerous issues are impacting on our ability to do our jobs.

"Crucially, while there have been increases in both finances and workforce, this is simply not keeping pace with demand.

"Doctors struggle with the implications of this on a daily basis, with services deteriorating, patients suffering as a result and more pressure being put on already overworked staff.

"Equally, the vacancy levels across all parts of the profession are simply not sustainable and have a knock-on effect on those staff in post.

"This is compounded by political pressure to meet arbitrary targets that often tell us little about quality of care or the outcomes for patients."

He called for an end to the "arbitrary, politically-driven targets" and a clear plan to reduce the gap between resources and demand.

He added: "We need more concerted action to improve the working lives of doctors and to ensure that being a doctor in Scotland is an attractive career choice."