A row has broken out in Scotland over the number of GPs taking early retirement. Liberal Democrats in the country accused the Scottish Nationalist Party of presiding over a growing trend of early retirements.
Last year some 74 doctors left the profession early compared with just 22 a decade earlier. The row erupted after the commencement of a new GP contract, which, it is claimed, will help relieve some of the pressures on practices.
Alex Cole-Hamilton, Liberal Democrat health spokesman, said: “These new figures show that the number of GPs deciding to take early retirement is disappointingly high.
“When GPs are working up to 90 hours in a week, it is no wonder we are seeing hundreds of them say enough is enough. Years of disinvestment has left doctors burnt out and badly let down.
“The SNP’s approach to workforce planning seems to be to press their hands together and hope for the best. It is clearly not working.”
Scottish health secretary Shona Robison said: “Our ambition is to increase the number of GPs by at least 800 over ten years to ensure a sustainable service that meets increasing demand.
“There will also be new investment in the wider multi-disciplinary teams to support GPs. Details of how we will achieve this will be set out in our Primary Care Workforce Plan. We are committed to primary care.”