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RCGP calls for extra Scottish GP investment to be targeted at inequality

RCGP Scotland has called for the £500m extra promised to general practice by 2020 to be targeted at tackling health inequality.

Dr Miles Mack, chair of RCGP Scotland, said the work of the Deep End Project of practices in deprived areas has ‘unequivocally shown’ the improvements in patients quality of life that can be achieved by investing in GP care.

‘The £500 million extra funding announced by the first minister on the 15 October is a major opportunity to invest in general practice and lessen the effects of the inverse care law, under which those most in need of healthcare have least access to it’, he said.

He stressed that the investment should not be at the cost of remote and rural areas where costs of providing care are high.

‘Instead such new, targeted investment should be seen as part of a package of support that recognises the vital work general practice performs across Scotland to support those most in need and to realise the stated priorities of the present Scottish Government.’

He pointed to figures showing a 28-year difference in life expectancy in different areas of Glasgow.

The RCGP call comes after Green MSP Alison Johnstone wrote to the health secretary to better target GP practice spending in the most deprived areas stating they are not ‘adequately resourced’.

Ms Johnstone pointed out GP practices in the most deprived areas receive only £3.79 more per patient than those in the least deprived and that a fairer funding model would allow GPs to ‘have longer consultation with their patients’.