Downward trend in getting to see a doctor

Thursday May 19th 2016

Alison Johnstone, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, says that the latest Health and Care Experience Survey shows that the early priorities of the new government must be investment in general practice and supporting unpaid carers.

The annual survey of 100,000 Scots registered with a GP shows positive ratings for GP care and having enough time with a nurse, but it also shows a continued downward trend in getting to see a doctor. The positive rating is now ten percentage points below the 2009/10 figure.

The survey also shows carers are concerned that their caring responsibilities are having a negative impact on their health and wellbeing, while almost half of those who receive care are getting help from friends and family rather than professional services.

Alison Johnstone, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, said:

“Access to a GP is a serious concern in Lothian region and across Scotland, and this survey highlights the need for the new Scottish Government to pick up the pace on investment in general practice. It’s great to see people rating their experience of GP and nursing care so highly but we must do more to improve access, particularly in deprived communities where GPs have not been receiving appropriate levels of funding to cope with demand.

“The findings on carers must prompt bold action by ministers. Greens advocate a 50 per cent rise in the carer’s allowance in recognition of the importance of unpaid care in our society, and we must see greater provision of respite.”

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