Monday, September 11, 2006

Doctors in Scotland may turn new patients away because immigrants are stretching patient visits to the breaking point

Jude Sheerin:

The British Medical Association said Executive funding for the coming year would not provide any extra help for the 46,000 patients who have registered with GPs since April 2005.

They said the increase was mainly due to the number of people arriving from countries such as Poland and Lithuania and working in areas like agriculture since joining the EU in 2004.

Andrew Buist, deputy chairman of the BMA's Scottish GPs committee, said: "We support immigrants coming to Scotland and their contribution to the workforce.

"But we need to ensure that, if our population continues to rise, resources are available to keep up with that."

Peebles GP David Love said another 30 GPs were needed and that some practices "are toiling to deal with it and some may have to say their lists are full".

Steve McCabe, a GP on Skye, said surgeries in both urban and rural areas, such as his own, had seen new patients.

He added: "I think 46,000 is a gross underestimate."

Doctors in GP shortfall warning


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