Urgent action has been called for this week after health professionals have said the collapse of the GP workforce in Wales, especially in rural areas, could be a reality. Not enough GPs are being hired to replace those who are leaving, whether through emigration, retirement or reduced roles.
Dr Sara Bodey, from North Wales Local Medical Committee, says practices have been repeatedly advertising for GPs, with some adverts not receiving any applicants whatsoever.
The problem is exacerbated in rural areas of Wales, where some have called GP services ‘critically endangered, and actually extinct in some parts.’ This is leaving patients waiting too long for an appointment and not receiving the time or attention they need.
Many holidaymakers rely on their GPs to help with prescriptions, fit to travel notes, and medication schedules if their travels are taking them across many time zones. Without help from their GPs and healthcare professionals, some could find travelling more stressful than anticipated.
The Guardian reported in 2014 that surgeries are responsible for about 90% of all patient contact, but general practice only receives 8.39% of the UK’s overall NHS budget.
What do you think? Are you satisfied with your GP’s service? Or do you agree with the sentiments above? Let us know your opinions in the comments below.