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24 October 2017, 05:46
The proportion of GP training posts left vacant after the main recruitment drive has risen to 10%.
A total of 402 of 1,182 funded training posts were advertised for trainee GPs in Scotland during the drive, with 275 places being accepted.
The previous year of 339 of 1,082 established posts were advertised and 250 junior doctors accepted places.
This means the percentage of unfilled posts has risen from 8% to 10%.
The Scottish Conservatives highlighted that the latest figures show only 68% of the GP training places offered in the round of recruitment and re-advertisement had been filled by the end of June.
In England 84% of vacancies were filled by July 4 after a round of recruitment and 91% in Wales by June 13 after recruitment and re-advertisement.
The party's health spokesman Miles Briggs said: "Ministers are fond of trumpeting the number of GP training places they are offering but they are less vocal about the numbers being filled.
"The reason is clear - Scotland has the highest number of GP training vacancies in the UK. So far this year, 127 places are still empty.
"The reason is simple. Due to cutbacks and existing shortages, it is becoming harder than ever to persuade young doctors to take up a GP training place.
"And the blame for that lies firmly at the SNP's door. They have starved general practice of proper funding over the last ten years. Now we see the damage that has caused."
He called on the the Scottish Government to commit to 11% of funding going straight to general practice to help staff recruitment and retention.
Health Secretary Shona Robison said: "This Government has delivered record staffing levels and high funding for the NHS, increasing investment in GP services every year since 2007.
"Funding for general practice will increase by £250 million by 2021 as part of our commitment to increase primary care funding by £500 million.
"The number of GPs has increased by 7% under this Government and Scotland continues to have the highest proportion of GPs per head in the UK.
"Over £71 million in additional funding is being invested this year in support of general practice - as part of that, we've increased funding for GP recruitment and retention five-fold to £5 million.
"We have increased GP training places from 300 to 400 and introduced £20,000 bursaries for harder to fill places."