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Last Updated: Monday, 11 September 2006, 11:30 GMT 12:30 UK
Doctors in GP shortfall warning
GP and patient - generic
The number of GP trainees in Scotland has remained fixed
Doctors have warned that Scotland will be short of 750 GPs within six years because of a training shortfall.

The British Medical Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners have joined forces to call for more funding to provide family doctors.

In a letter to Health Minister Andy Kerr they said current estimates that Scotland will be short of 500 GPs by 2012 were well short.

The Scottish Executive said it was looking to increase trainee numbers.

The BMA and RCGP said the shortage would leave some patients without their own GP.

Dr Dean Marshall, deputy chairman of BMA Scotland's GP committee, told The Herald newspaper that the matter had been repeatedly raised with the executive's health department.

We are currently looking to increase the number of training places provided, in order to ensure that patients continue to get the best quality services in the future
Scottish Executive spokesman

He said: "People value their general practitioner.

"However, the way we are going, not everyone is going to be able to have a GP in the future."

With 30% of GPs over 50 and many of the growing female portion of the workforce choosing to work part-time, the BMA and RCGP said there was a need to accept more candidates on the GP training programme.

Places have been kept at 280 for the past three years.

Breaking point

Dr Mairi Scott, chairwoman of the RCGP in Scotland, added: "We have been flagging up our concerns about this for a long time.

"Workforce planning in the Scottish Executive has until very, very recently failed to look at GPs."

Last week the BMA warned that an influx of immigrants from eastern Europe had stretched Scottish GPs to breaking point.

An executive spokesman said GP numbers have increased from 3,790 in 1999 to 4,050 in 2005.

He said: "We are currently looking to increase the number of training places provided, in order to ensure that patients continue to get the best quality services in the future."


SEE ALSO
GPs feel patient numbers pressure
08 Sep 06 |  Scotland
GPs 'angry' over salary hike row
27 Apr 06 |  Scotland
Patients' check-up on surgeries
27 May 05 |  Scotland
New contracts for family doctors
01 Apr 04 |  Scotland
GP contracts vote welcomed
20 Jun 03 |  Scotland

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