Liberal Democrats reveal wave of GPs taking early retirement


10th August 202

Cambuslang Liberal Democrat Councillor Dr. Norman Rae has called for the Scottish Government to encourage experienced medical professionals to stay on amidst GP shortages across the country.

A Freedom of Information request submitted by the Scottish Liberal Democrats to the Scottish Public Pensions Authority revealed that of the 136 GPs who have retired since 2015, just 9 waited until the state pension age to do so. Areas across Scotland are losing dozens of GPs every year to early retirement.

 

Dr Andrew Buist, chair of the British Medical Association's Scottish GP Committee, recently warned:

"GP surgeries are under extreme pressure, with increased demand and at times unmanageable workloads, made worse right now due to high levels of staff absence with Covid.

"We are hearing of more clinicians considering cutting their hours or retiring from the profession completely due to exhaustion and burnout. The simple fact is we do not have enough GPs to meet patient demand.

"We face a huge challenge in terms of recruiting and retaining GPs in Scotland, and we need to keep doing all we can to make the job as attractive and competitive as possible – and ensure staff who are currently working long hours to do as much as they can for their patients are taken care of.”

Councillor Rae said:

When I have been out on the doorsteps in Cambuslang and Ruthergen speaking to local people, particularly during the recent local elections, one of the top concerns I got from people was simply getting a GP appointment. This is already a huge issue for our area.

I believe that everyone should be able to rely on swift and reliable GP care. A shortage of GPs creates stress for local residents in Cambuslang and Rutherglen as it does across the country, increases the workload for those who remain and adds to the pressure on emergency services. Part of tackling these shortages is recruiting new staff but the Scottish Government should also be doing far more to encourage the experienced and talented local GPs leaving the profession early each year to stay on.

We are hearing of more clinicians considering cutting their hours or retiring from the profession completely due to exhaustion and burnout. The simple fact is we do not have enough GPs to meet patient demand. 

The Scottish Government need to increase the number of trained GPs in Scotland and embed more nurses, dieticians and physiotherapists with GPs so that local people can get a wider range of diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care – as well as seeing GPs more readily. That's one way to reduce the burden on current doctors and encourage experienced professionals to stay.

Councillor Rae’s comments come after the Stonelaw practice in Rutherglen announced reduced services saying that it was currently relying on 2-3 locum GPs covering and could not secure any additional cover. 


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