The number of doctors in training across Forth Valley has sunk to a four-year low, sparking fears the country’s GP crisis is set to worsen.
Figures published today have revealed there were 190 doctors in training as of September 2018, a 6.4% drop from September the previous year.
Although this was a 4.4% rise from the previous quarter’s figures, the year as a whole still represents the worst figures since 2013-2014.
The drop comes despite repeated warnings over the years from various experts, including BMA Scotland, that there will be even more acute shortages of GPs in the future.
Most recently, the organisation said Scotland could be short of more than 800 family doctors by 2021.
Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Dean Lockhart said this was just the latest example of the Scottish Governments chaotic workforce planning and warned difficulties people are experiencing in accessing GP appointments will only get worse.
Dean Lockhart MSP said:
“These figures are going in the wrong direction at the worst possible time.
“We are in the grip of a GP crisis, while hospitals right across the country are struggling for doctor numbers.
“But instead of increasing the number of doctors in training, the SNP government now finds they are at a five-year low.
“That’s yet more irresponsible government, and more evidence of the nationalists’ chaotic workforce planning.
“The SNP’s incompetence over the last 11 years has brought the NHS in Scotland to its knees, and still the mistakes are being repeated.”