Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Scotland Rules Out Following "Backward" UK Government Plan to Limit GP Visits


The UK government’s plan to cap the number of times patients can visit their local doctor has been condemned by the SNP.

A Tory consultation document on health provision is considering an annual limit on GP appointments in England. The paper also asks whether evening and weekend appointments with GPs and consultants are a "luxury the country cannot afford".

But a written answer from Scottish Government Health Secretary Alex Neil to SNP MSP Bob Doris confirmed that The Scottish Government will not restrict patient access to GPs and that it considers “..any moves to restrict the number of visits a patient can make to their GP would be of potentially serious detriment to their health.”

Dr Clare Gerada, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said:

“This was obviously written by someone who has never been unwell, or has never met people who work in the health service."

Mr Doris said:

“This backward plan by the Tories is yet another blow to the already damaged NHS south of the border.

“People need to be able to see their GP - If they are regularly unwell they need to see their local doctor as often as is necessary.

“Successive UK governments have asset stripped and dismantled NHS England.

“Labour have abandoned the principle of universality and the NHS is sadly not exempt from that, as their leader Ed Miliband has already admitted.

“While health policy in Scotland is already effectively independent, and the SNP Government’s commitment to a public healthcare system is unwavering, Scotland is still at the mercy of Westminster's retreat from a public NHS via the Barnett formula funding system.

“It is clear that the way to protect and build on universal services in Scotland is with a Yes vote in September 2014.”
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