The number of doctors in training in Scotland has sunk to a five-year low, sparking fears the country’s GP crisis is set to worsen.
Figures published today have revealed there were 6009 doctors in training as of September 2018, a 2.1 per cent drop from the previous year.
It’s also the lowest since 2013, when there were 5984 in training.
The drop comes despite repeated warnings over the years from various experts, including the Royal College of GPs, 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.
Shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said this was the latest example of the SNP government’s “chaotic workforce planning”, and warned difficulties people are experiencing in accessing GP appointments will only get worse.
Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Miles Briggs 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.”
Notes to editors:
The ISD Scotland statistics reveal the following headcount of doctors in training over the past five years:
September 2018 – 6009
September 2017 – 6135
September 2016 – 6029
September 2015 – 6102
September 2014 – 6147