The SNP’s broken promises on GP numbers are risking the very future of primary care, Jackie Baillie has warned.
Analysis by Scottish Labour has shown that while the number of registered patients has risen by over 300,000 since 2013, the number of GPs has plummeted by nearly 200.
As a result, the number of patients per WTE GP has risen from 1,515 in 2013 to 1,687 in 2022.
Between 2019 and 2022 alone, the number of patients per GP rose by almost 100.
Despite the SNP promising to increase GP numbers in 2017, the number has actually fallen.
This SNP failure of Scotland’s GPs has been made worse by Humza Yousaf short-changing GP budgets by one-third after only £10m of the promised £15m for sustainability payments ever made it to surgeries.
This was further compounded by the SNP’s eye-watering cut of £65m to primary care in November’s Emergency Budget Review.
Scottish Labour has said that the SNP’s ‘broken promises’ on GP numbers is forcing primary care into a ‘perfect storm’ of rising demand and falling capacity.
Dumbarton constituency MSP Jackie Baillie, who is also Scottish Labour’s Health Spokesperson, said: “The numbers speak for themselves – the SNP has broken its promise on GP numbers and forced primary care into a tailspin.
“There are areas including the Rosneath peninsula where there is a struggle to provide permanent GPs at either Kilcreggan or Garelochhead practices.
“Primary care in Scotland is now facing a perfect storm of rising demand and declining capacity.
“Primary care is absolutely vital in the functioning of our NHS. It is no surprise that this is happening while we are witnessing extraordinary waits at A&E. The two issues go hand in hand – but instead of supporting GPs in their work, the SNP has slashed funding and failed to bolster numbers.
“GPs are being failed, patients are being failed and Scotland is being failed.
“The lack of support for GPs from Humza Yousaf and the SNP, means that patients are not getting the support they need and more pressure gets piled on to the front door of our hospitals. This has gone on for too long.
“It’s high time they reversed the cuts before lives are put in danger.”