Nearly half of GPs in Wales now believe their practices are “financially unsustainable,” according to a new survey.
These doctors, about 42% of the total, believe there is “nowhere near enough” funding for general practice in the country, according to the survey by the Royal College of GPs. Another 42% say that funding is “not quite enough.”
The college published the survey as it called for general practice to receive 11% of the NHS budget in Wales.
Some 137 doctors took part in the survey and 31% said they are so stressed that at least once a week they feel they cannot cope. 23% said they were unlikely to be working as GP in five years time.
A statement from the college’s joint chairs in Wales, Dr Mair Hopkin and Dr Peter Saul said: “Our recommendations for change are geared towards supporting GPs to deliver the very best care for patients. It needs to be underpinned by a step change in funding, giving general practice 11% of the Welsh NHS budget, in turn giving patients the type of care they need.
“This report presents comprehensive evidence that general practice needs more support and outlines constructive suggestions to make it happen. Things need to change. GPs deserve better and patients deserve better.”
• Another college survey in Northern Ireland has warned of the pressures that practices will face over the winter.
Some 89% of doctors said the increased workload over the winter could harm patient care.
The college has urged patients to think of alternatives for the care of minor ailments before visiting a GP.
Northern Ireland chair Dr Grainne Doran said: “For more minor conditions such as coughs and colds, patients can get great advice and over the counter medicines from local pharmacies. This will be faster and more efficient and will help ensure appointments with a doctor are available for those who need them most.”