Shetland MSP Tavish Scott has warned there is “barely a GP surgery in Shetland which does not face real problems”.
He was speaking in light of what he said was a nationwide shortage of doctors and called on the Scottish government to do more to support small GP clinics.
“There’s barely a GP surgery in Shetland which does not face real problems,” he said. “The Scottish government cannot keep its head in the sand on this national GP crisis any longer.
“Doctors are retiring early or going part-time leading to a major shortage.
“Primary health care in Scotland is heading towards a crisis. So that means the Scottish government needs to work with health Boards to invest in small GP surgeries. Across Shetland these provide vital services for local people, such as dispensing of medicines, emergency and palliative care and covering their own out of hours.”
At First Minister’s Questions in Holyrood last week, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie highlighted a recruitment warning issued by the British Medical Association in Scotland which showed doctors are retiring early or going part time, leading to a major shortage. It comes as various reports show increasing pressures on local doctors due to shortages of GPs.
Mr Scott added: “It isn’t good enough to say that the current approach is working. The SNP government must act now and set out a plan to sort Scotland’s GP crisis.
“Organisations who represent doctors and other NHS staff are all saying these issues must be addressed. GP surgeries from Levenwick to Baltasound serve Shetland well. We should do everything we can to sure they can serve people in need when that care is required.”