Recruitment of doctors in the north east is now entering crisis level with Moray facing the greatest issues over replacing ageing GP’s.
That is according to a report in the Press and Journal this morning that points to surgeries throughout the region where patients are facing ever increasing delays for appointments.
With nearly two-thirds of GP’s working part time in the NHS Grampian area it is Moray that tops the table with 44% of doctors now over 50-years-old.
The serious nature of the situation emerged in talks held this week where the chairman of the local medical committee representing 500 GPs in the north east, Dr Neil MacRitchie, admitted that GPs had not been able to minimise the effect of shortages on patient care.
“They are doing this by working harder and longer hours – but there will be a limit as to how much further this can be pushed,” he said.
Research into the situation throughout the region amongst 80 surgeries revealed that the number of part-time medical staff in Moray was at 61% – with Aberdeen City at 62% and Aberdeenshire at 60%.
Moray is facing the largest recruitment issues as the 44% of staff aged over-50 is considerably higher than the 28% in Aberdeen and 35% in Aberdeenshire.
An NHS Grampian spokesman said: “This 2013 version is the third survey we have carried out and used as a workforce planning tool to support GP practices.
“Working in collaboration with our GP colleagues in this way allows us to identify both workforce supply and demand for the future. For example over 90 GPs will qualify in the next three years which will help fill the slots of GPs planning to retire.”