I do hesitate to make these comparisons between NHS Scotland and NHS England as they always go one way and I then start to feel a bit uncomfortable. However, if I want to talk-up NHS Scotland in a defence against our Loyalist media bias, it’s the only readily available comparator with a Tory government to blame for it all.
Anyhow, the Guardian piece above, does carefully and unusually, state that this is about only England, based on NHS England research.
So dear reader, how do you think things are in Scotland? Could be better, but health provision like education or policing is infinitely improvable and so could always be better. What is clear though is that there is no crisis in general practice in Scotland.
1. 93% of Scots can get an appointment in two days!
From research published in the Scotsman on 25th April 2018:
‘More encouragingly, it also found 87 per cent of people found it easy to contact their GP practice, while more than nine out ten (93 per cent) were able to get an appointment within two days.’
2. GP vacancies in Scotland are only just over one-third of the level in England
Based on a survey by the GP magazine on 6th July 2018, Pulse, the Independent reported today:
‘GP vacancies (in England) rise to record levels despite recruitment pledge, survey suggests. Long patient waits and unsafe, rushed appointments are unlikely to end any time soon as vacancies have risen from 9.1 per cent to 15.3 per cent since the (UK) government pledged 5 000 more doctors.’
In sharp contrast, the GP vacancy rate in Scotland was only 5.6% at the end of 2017.
3. There are significantly more GPs per head of population in Scotland
So, the ratio of GPs to overall population is:
- England 1 GP for every 1262 people
- Scotland 1 GP for every 999 people
- Wales 1 GP for every 1060 people
- N Ireland 1 GP for every 1421 people