A survey about GP waiting times and the state of the health service in Rochester & Strood has been launched by Labour’s Naushabah Khan following warnings of GP shortages across the country.
Naushabah Khan, Labour’s parliamentary candidate in Rochester and Strood, says with almost 40,000 people waiting over a week to see their GP in the Medway area, falling standards need to be highlighted and addressed.
The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has identified up to 600 practices across the country where more than 90% of the GPs are aged 60 or over, many of whom will retire over the next 12 months.
The RCGP has also highlighted concerns that more and more GPs will suffer burnout as they struggle to keep up with the pressure of ever-growing numbers of patients.
Naushabah Khan said: “For a while now I’ve been hearing people say it’s getting harder to see their doctor and the forecast from the Royal College of GPs suggests the problem is only going to get worse.
“We know the health service is not working here, the Medway Maritime Hospital has been told to make urgent improvements, patients are waiting too long to see a GP and our hardworking doctors are not getting the support they need.
“I hope people will find the time to fill in our survey as their stories will help us get the necessary evidence to start putting things right and to stop the Conservatives denying there’s a problem.”
Seven Day Waits
The survey was launched in Strood High Street on Saturday 4th October and it will soon be available online.
Earlier this year research revealed that 37,015 people in the Medway area waited seven days or longer to see a GP the last time they tried.
The annual NHS England survey also revealed that over 50,000 – or 41% of people who have a preferred GP in the Medway CGC - had to see another doctor when they last went to their surgery.
Labour has pledged £2.5bn of extra funding for the NHS and made a commitment to recruit 8000 more GPs, guaranteed appointments within 48 hours or on the same day for those who need it would also come into force.
In contrast, the Conservatives scrapped Labour's GP appointment guarantee and cut support for evening and weekend opening when they came to power. UKIP have said they would charge people to see a GP.
Notes for editors:
- The Tories launched a top-down reorganisation of the NHS (which they promised they wouldn’t do), wasting £3bn and which has seen 7,000 frontline NHS staff axed. Under David Cameron's A&E crisis, waiting times are going up, as are waiting lists for crucial operations.
- The Tories have started the process of privatizing the NHS – and that’s something UKIP welcome. Their deputy leader, Paul Nuttal, said, “I would like to congratulate the coalition government for bringing a whiff of privatisation into the beleaguered National Health Service.”
- Now UKIP want increased privatisation and GP charging. UKIP want to go even further than the Tories by subsidising people who want to go private. On top of that, UKIP have proposed charging people to see their family doctor, as well as charging for other NHS services.
- What you get with UKIP: charges to see your GP, even deeper cuts to your NHS, and increased privatisation.