BMA: Government must prioritise addressing general practice 'crisis'

Medical Government/ NHS related news

The British Medical Association (BMA) has called on the government to take swift action to address the resourcing 'crisis' affecting general practice.

BMA GP committee chair Chaand Nagpaul has warned that patient demand, declining recruitment and a lack of investment in general practice is threatening the future of general practice, which could in turn undermine the entire NHS.

“The BMA has urged the government to prioritise support for general practice over its goal of seven-day NHS services.“

A recent BMA survey indicated that one in three GPs are aiming to retire in five years, while one in five trainees planned to go abroad to practice. Meanwhile, the number of NHS doctors working as GPs has fallen from 34 percent to 25 percent.

As such, the Conservative government's manifesto pledge to hire 5,000 extra GPs will not come close to addressing this shortfall.

The BMA has also warned that any efforts to implement seven-day NHS services, as prime minister David Cameron has pledged, will be damaging and unfeasible if current trends persist.

Dr Nagpaul said: 'If the government claims to have any clue about the plight of general practice it must halt its obsession with practices to open for seven days when there aren't enough GPs to cope with demand."

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