Scottish conservative party leader Ruth Davidson has pledged to increase the share of NHS funding received by general practice to 10%.
The Scottish Conservatives called for the SNP government to invest more money in general practice to ‘ensur[e] more patients do not need access to costly secondary care’.
Ms Davidson, who outlined the party’s commitment to general practice at a visit to Southside Surgery in Edinburgh, called for the SNP to adopt a five point strategy for GP services in Scotland:
- Produce a general practice investment plan alongside the 2017/18 draft budget;
- Set a target for GP budget share to increase to reach at least 10%by 2020;
- Set clear GP training and rentention targets;
- Outline a long-term vision for primary care involving GPs, community nurses, health visitors, mental health professionals and phrarmacists to work in local clusters;
- Invest in IT and premises.
Conservative shadow health secretary Donald Cameron said: ‘Extra funding for general practice would help us deliver a better local service for people right across Scotland. A GP surgery is quite simply at the frontline of the NHS.
‘We need general practice to do more in our healthcare system. It is only fair that, if we are going to ask them to do more, more of the NHS pot goes their way.’
Commenting on the plan, RCGP Scotland chair Dr Miles Mack, said:
‘RCGP Scotland has been calling for such an approach for almost three years. We have been advocating for the decade’s worth of cuts to the percentage share of NHS Scotland budget that general practice receives to be reversed, through incremental increases, until it reaches 11% of the budget.
’The benefits of that change in trend will be felt throughout the NHS.’