Health Minister must take action to avoid deepening GP workforce crisis, says McAllister

Alliance Health Spokesperson, Nuala McAllister MLA, has said that creative, low-cost solutions exist to help increase retention and expansion of the general practice workforce, and that the Health Minister must take action.

Health Nuala McAllister

She was responding to the publication of the Royal College of GPs’ new strategy to tackle GP workforce retention, which contains a number of recommendations to support the workforce and ease workload pressures in general practices.
The North Belfast MLA has said: “This is the second report in the space of a month which has clearly outlined the crisis facing our GPs, and we cannot afford for this to be ignored any longer.
“While the Minister of Health has understandably referred to the financial constraints facing his department, he has not taken heed of the creative, low-cost solutions which do exist and can help to transform the way GPs operate in Northern Ireland.
“Support for recruiting staff who require a health and care worker visa, implementing a state-backed indemnity scheme, and understanding the reasons for limited uptake of the ‘Attract, Recruit, Retain’ scheme can all go a long way in inspiring confidence that this crisis is being taken seriously.
“My colleague, Danny Donnelly MLA, and I met with the Royal College of GPs last month and we welcome the evidence they presented to the Health Committee last week. We will continue to work closely with them to ensure pressure is maintained on the Health Minister to implement the recommendations contained within this report.
“The time for excuses has passed. We need to see urgent action to avoid the collapse of our general practice sector.”