Patients’ plight and access problems raised at Stormont

THE PLIGHT of local patients getting through to their GP has been raised at Stormont, with the case of a Lisnaskea lady used to highlight the problems facing general practice across the North.
Last week the Committee for Health at Stormont, which is chaired by Fermanagh South Tyrone MLA Colm Gildernew, heard from Dr Alan Stout, chairman of the British Medical Association’s (BMA) GP committee.
Dr Stout highlighted the problems that have been facing general practice since long before the pandemic, which he said could essentially be boiled down to an “ever growing workload with a decreasing and constrained workforce,” and which have been worsened by the challenges of the Covid crisis.
In response, Mr Gildernew acknowledged the strain the health service had been under and also commended GPs for their hard work and “creativity and flexibility” in response to the challenges.
However, Mr Gildernew said all local representatives had been continuously hearing of patients not being able to get through to their local GP surgery, or get an appointment. He then used the example of the local lady, and of a mother from mid Ulster, who he said were “just two examples from hundreds”.

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