Lib Dems say more GPs have retired early since SNP came to power

9 April 2018, 05:30

Doctor Generic

More than 500 GPs have taken early retirement since the SNP Government came to power, according to Alex Cole-Hamilton of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

The party's health spokesman warned "years of disinvestment" in the NHS has left doctors "burnt out and badly let down".

Figures uncovered by Mr Cole-Hamilton reveal that 533 doctors have taken early retirement since the SNP came to power in 2007. In 2007-8, their first year in charge, the number of GPs taking early retirement was just 22, compared to 74 last year.

The figures came after Mr Cole-Hamilton revealed that GPs are working up to 90 hours per week.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said: "These new figures show that the number of General Practitioners deciding to take early retirement is disappointingly high.

"When GPs are working up to 90 hours in a week, it is no wonder we are seeing hundreds of them say enough is enough. Years of disinvestment has left doctors burnt out and badly let down."

He said a recent primary care workforce survey showed a "consistent decline" in the number of full-time GPs.

Mr Cole Hamilton said there had been delays in a promised primary care workforce plan.

He added: "Scottish Liberal Democrats are clear that we need to see an end to the neglect of primary care and an agreement to embed a mental health practitioner in every surgery, ending the scandal of year-long waits for this treatment and reducing some of the pressure on GPs."

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: "The new GP contract, backed by investment of £110 million in 2018-19 and jointly developed with the BMA, will help to cut doctors' workload and make general practice an even more attractive career.

"Our ambition is to increase the number of GPs by at least 800 over 10 years to ensure a sustainable service that meets increasing demand.

"There will also be new investment in the wider multi-disciplinary teams to support GPs. Details of how we will achieve this will be set out in our primary care workforce plan."