Carson Secures Meeting With Health Secretary

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP has secured a meeting the Scottish Government’s Health Secretary, Shona Robison, to discuss the GP crisis in Galloway and West Dumfries.


During Health and Sport questions in the Scottish Parliament, Mr Carson asked the Health Secretary how many GPs were recruited in Dumfries and Galloway through the bursary incentive, and how many posts remain vacant.


The scheme, launched in August, offered an incentive of £20,000 for trainees who chose to take up posts in hard to fill locations, such as remote and rural areas.


In response, Ms Robison informed MSPs that of the 6 posts that were advertised through the scheme, 4 remained vacant.  These posts will be re-advertised in due course.


Mr Carson followed up by asking Ms Robison if she would meet with him to discuss the idea of giving Galloway Community Hospital in Stranraer training status and explore the possibility of seconding GPs from the armed forces to ensure that vital GP services can be delivered in rural areas.  Ms Robison agreed to this request.


Mr Carson said:


“Local GP practices across Galloway and West Dumfries are in crisis.  GPs are working longer hours than ever, practices are being forced to merge and there is a fear in local communities that practices will be closed.


“The figures announced by the Health Secretary show that the incentive scheme has failed in Dumfries and Galloway.


“That is why I am pleased she has agreed to meet with me to discuss further ideas such as giving the Galloway Community Hospital in Stranraer training status, and whether it would be possible to second GPs from the armed forces to work in rural areas.


“The Scottish Government need to get a grip on this situation and when I meet the Cabinet Secretary, I will be stressing the need for her to redouble her efforts and work with the local health board to encourage trainee GPs to come and work in our region”.

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