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Scottish GP workforce fails to grow for a decade

Scottish GP workforce fails to grow for a decade

There has been no rise in the number of GPs in Scotland in the past decade, annual workforce figures show.

The number of GPs in the country has remained at around 4,900 since 2008, the Information Services Division reported.

Yet the number of patients registered with GP practices has been rising year on year, increasing by 5% since 2007.

In addition the number of patients aged over 65 has increased by 20% since 2007, the figures show.

Meanwhile, women now make up 60% of all GPs in Scotland, the ISD said.

The Scottish Government has announced an extra 15 places on Scotland’s new graduate entry medical course, increasing the intake from 40 to 55.

Students on the ScotGEM course will be offered a grant worth up to £16,000, in exchange for working in Scotland for up to four years.

This will lead to an additional 330 medical graduates by 2028, the Government said.

GPC Scotland chair Dr Alan McDevitt, said: ‘It is clear that the status quo in general practice can no longer continue.

‘The proposed new contract that we have negotiated aims to reduce workload pressures and improve GP recruitment and retention.’

GPs have until 4 January to vote on a new contract which places the GP as the expert medical generalist at the head of a multi-disciplinary team of pharmacists, nurses and physiotherapists.