Shortage of rural GP's leave rural patients
with out cover
THE Rural Services Network is backing
calls for urgent government action to help recruit more GP's and other health
professionals to work in the countryside. Rural Services Network chief
executive Graham Biggs said:- "The situation is so bad that some rural
patients are having to wait the best part of a month to see a Doctor."
It follows the revelation that a shortage of Doctors means patients in part of
rural Lincolnshire must wait 4 weeks to see a GP. Manjeet Gill, chief
executive of West Lindsey District Council, said:- "Some of our practices
have 4 week waiting times to see a GP and have failed to recruit more Doctors;
that's despite many efforts at recruiting and many forms of incentives and
West Lindsey Councillors recently passed a motion calling on the government to
provide extra funding to attract GP's and health professionals to the area.
They are proposing a system of "rural weighting" payments by the
NHS and Government to make it more financially attractive for Doctors to work in
Villages and Market Towns. The motion was submitted by District Councillor
for the Gainsborough North Ward and Treasurer Gainsborough and District
Conservative, Branch Sheila Bibb. Councillor Bibb said:- "Here in West
Lindsey, there are places within the district where appointments with a doctor
involve a 4 week wait, longer than the national average. This is a very
different experience to the situation in many urban areas; and in part due to
the inability to attract GP's to serve in a rural area."
West Lindsey Council says a system of "rural weighting" that could
be similar to the accepted practice of "London weighting" might
help to attract much needed physicians to the district. In turn, this would
facilitate the better provision of NHS Health Services. Councillor Bibb said:-
"We would like to encourage other rural authorities to support us in this
and lobby their MP's as well."
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