What is the SNP doing to improve primary care, including GP services?
We will ensure that the NHS revenue budget rises by £500 million more than inflation by the end of the next parliament – which means that it will increase by almost £2 billion in total. To deliver upon that commitment we are providing additional investment of over £400 million in the health service in 2018-19, including £110 million investment in primary care reform.
The SNP want to bring treatment closer to home and have committed to increase spending on primary care services to 11 per cent of the frontline NHS budget. By 2021, an extra half billion pounds will be invested in Scotland’s GP practices and health centres.
Scotland already has the highest number of GPs per head of the population in the UK, and we have created 100 new GP training posts per year. A proportion of the new training places will also come with an incentive to take up posts in hard to fill locations, such as remote and rural areas.
The SNP Scottish Government has introduced a new GP contract, offering better patient care and support for GPs. The new contract, jointly designed with the British Medical Association, aims to meet patients’ needs in the best way by ensuring services are delivered in the right place. The British Medical Association believes the new contract will make general practice an attractive career choice while also making it sustainable for the future.
The plans will also ensure pay stability for GPs up to April 2018 so that a review of pay and expenses can be carried out next year. The new GP contract is part of an overall transformation in community health services, and will be the biggest reform of GP services in over a decade.