Thursday, 27 December 2018 07:52


Scotland’s GP workforce is getting younger, according to analysis of latest workforce statistics over the past ten years.

There has been a 4.5% increase in the number of new GPs working in Scotland’s NHS who are under the age of 45 since 2008. That means that 94% of the growth in Scotland’s GP workforce has come from young doctors joining practices across the country.

As a proportion of Scotland’s overall GP headcount, younger doctors now make up 53.6% - a modest rise over the decade – but a trend likely to continue based on recent figures.

The Scottish Government has laid out its aim to create 800 more GPs in the next decade, including raising the number of medical places in Scottish universities to a record high of 1,038 and creating new graduate routes into medicine.

Brexit poses a huge risk to Scotland’s NHS, with almost a third of European doctors working here considering moving abroad according to a survey by the British Medical Association – putting at risk the progress made to date.

Commenting, Scottish Parliament Health Committee member David Torrance MSP said:

“With Scotland’s overall population getting older, putting greater demands on our NHS, it’s encouraging to see our GP workforce bucking that trend.

“Scotland’s GPs are getting younger – with the overwhelming majority of growth in the workforce coming from new GPs under the age of forty-five.

“The Health Secretary has set out her ambition to recruit a further 800 GPs over the coming years to plan for those growing demands on services.

“That’s why the Scottish Government is raising the number of medical places at Scottish universities to an all-time high.

“But the fact is this – Brexit could undo all of this progress in a single stroke, as the Tories put their narrow-minded obsession over curbing immigration before what’s best for our NHS. That’s why the SNP is fighting tooth and nail to keep Scotland in the EU or, failing that, within the single market with continuing free movement in skilled workers.”

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