Responding to the announcement that the Scottish Government is to commission a review of the way health and social care services are provided over public holiday periods, Dr Alan McDevitt, Chair of the BMA’s Scottish GP Committee, said:
“In the midst of severe difficulties in recruiting and retaining GPs, we need to be incredibly careful not to do anything that risks making a career as a GP less attractive and undermines efforts to ensure we have enough GPs to meet Scotland’s needs. Vacancy rates at GP practices are already running at around 28% and we simply cannot afford that situation to get even worse.
“It is important to remember that if a patient needs to see a GP on evenings, weekends and public holidays then the out of hours service is already there to ensure that they are able to do so.
“Health boards are fully aware when public holidays are approaching and should be capable of putting staff and resources in place to manage them.”