Plaid Cymru, the Party of Wales, has pledged to voters that it will provide ‘easier than ever’ access to GP appointments, and will offer longer GP opening hours through a renegotiation of the GP contract.
In a statement released this week, the party said it would ‘train and recruit a further 1,000 doctors to the NHS in Wales, offer structured financial incentives to encourage doctors to difficult-to-recruit areas and invest in telemedicine to help people get access to specialist care in their local GP surgery’.
The announcement warned that the country is ‘facing a GP time bomb, with almost 50% of GPs in some areas approaching retirement age’ and quoted figures that showed GP numbers in Wales have reduced by 20% over the past year.
Commenting on the pledge, Plaid Cymru Carmarthen East and Dinefwr candidate Jonathan Edwards said that the current Labour Government in charge of the Welsh NHS has ‘failed to deliver’ on manifesto commitments to improve GP access, which included a pledge for Saturday opening that proved very unpopular with GPs.
He said: ‘Plaid Cymru has ambitious plans to improve access to GPs for patients right across Wales.
‘The Labour Government in Wales has failed to deliver its manifesto commitment to improve access to GP surgeries. Plaid Cymru acknowledged that delivering longer hours for GP surgeries would need to be delivered by renegotiating the GP contract and we will deliver this.’