Responding to the Conservative Party's pledge to deliver 50 million more GP appointments by 2024-25, Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GP committee chair, said:
“The ongoing workforce crisis means patients are waiting far too long for appointments and GPs remain under intolerable pressure to be able to provide safe and sustained care. The Conservatives' commitments to deliver more GPs through additional training places is therefore encouraging.
"However, a previous Conservative pledge to deliver 5,000 GPs by 2020 has fallen way short of its target, and the number of GPs we have has continued to dwindle. So, we wait with some trepidation to see if this latest promise can deliver.
“The promise to also address the problem of stopping GPs leaving the profession is also welcome, though there is still much work to be done to improve this situation with punitive pension regulations, inadequate premises, archaic IT systems and overly burdensome admin still proving a serious barrier to doctors choosing and remaining in general practice.
“The lack of detail as to exactly how all these promises will be made good, particularly with no firm commitment for full reform of the ridiculous pension taxation system, means it remains to be seen whether these long overdue and very necessary improvements will be achieved.”
Notes to Editors
The BMA is a trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.