Alex has called on the Scottish Government to increase the number of GPs in Scotland and embed more nurses, dieticians and physiotherapists with GPs so that people can get a wider range of diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care within their community.
Commenting on a survey by the BMA showing Scotland’s GPs are “at breaking point” as most face rising workloads during the pandemic, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton said:
“It is heart-breaking that on top of dealing with an unprecedented health crisis, GPs and staff also had to deal with horrifying levels of abuse. We all owe our gratitude to our fantastic NHS staff, they should never have to buy a pint ever again.
“It is understandable that people are frustrated and scared during this pandemic, but this does not excuse this appalling behaviour.
"The shortage of GPs unfortunately creates stress and gigantic work for GPs and distress in the public. The Scottish Government was aware of this, and yet did nothing about it.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats have extensively campaigned for a wider range of specialists, diagnosis and treatment in local communities. The Scottish Government need to increase the number of trained GPs in Scotland and embed more nurses, dieticians and physiotherapists with GPs so that people can get a wider range of diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care within their community. That's how to reduce the burden on current staff.
Notes to editors:
The BMA survey of 669 GPs also found 88% said they or their staff had been subjected to verbal or physical abusive behaviour from the public in the last month.
Almost two-thirds (65.9%) said the abuse had grown worse since the beginning of the pandemic.
Some 82% said they lacked confidence that plans for NHS recovery would support GPs and 66% said they were considering cutting the number of sessions they work.