A local councillor has called for more support for GPs as surgeries across Fife struggle to cope with demand.
Cllr Andrew Rodger, the executive health spokesman for Fife Council, admitted there were concerns over the number of GPs and spoke about the need to support them.
He said: “There are certain areas that cause concern. Throughout Fife we’re trying to keep in contact with senior practitioners, nurses and pharmacies because of a shortage of GPs.
“I’d say at least a third of GPs in Fife right now are part time. We’ve got 230 GPs. I’d be looking for around 260 or 270. That would be the preferred number.”
A recent BMA survey, which received responses from 900 GPs around Scotland, found that nine out of ten thought their heavy workload had negatively impacted upon the quality of care given to patients.
Furthermore, 44 per cent said general practices needed increased funding.
Cllr Rodger, who represents Buckhaven, Methil and Wemyss villages, believes the main reasons for GPs leaving are the sheer workload some are being asked to take on and some GPs wanting to specialise in a particular field.
He said: “We can’t afford to put GPs under any more pressure.
‘‘We need to get the basics right, get the right drugs and people on the right medicines.”
He thinks an ongoing problem with the cost of medicines is adding to that pressure.
“We’re well overspent on medicines,” Cllr Rodger admitted. “That’s putting pressure on our budgets. We need to look at using cheaper drugs that do the same thing.
“If you’re a GP and you’re asked to look through your list and check prescriptions, that puts a lot of pressure on you.
“We have to make sure we give GPs our support.”