Recent research has found that the number of GPs working in Wales is at the lowest point since 2013.
Right now there are just under 2,000 GPs working in Wales, which is 83 fewer than in 2016. Interestingly, the number of locum GPs has risen by just over 10%. This came from an enlightening report from the Welsh government.
A Decline in GP Practitioners
The number of GP practitioners is at a five year low, and that isn’t all. Out of all of the GPs who left in 2016 and 2017, only around half of them returned as locum (meaning they work on a freelance basis, covering for other GPs).
This is a serious problem that is coming at a time when there is more need than ever for GPs. Due to rising populations and people living for longer, many people require higher levels of healthcare, and this is making it harder for GPs to provide a great service.
While general practice can be a fulfilling, rewarding career, the workforce is increasingly stretched. This puts a big strain on GPs, and for many the pressure is too much – especially if they feel like they cannot provide their patients with an adequate level of care.
It is essential for the government to take some form of action in this situation. If numbers continue to decline the service of healthcare in Wales may drop, people will have to wait longer for appointments, and they may struggle to see the same GP on a regular basis.
More Locum GPs
Now many GPs are turning to locum work instead, as this means they can avoid office politics and often earn more. It also allows GPs to have more control over the hours that they work, which is ideal for GPs who feel like they are stressed and overworked. If you are interested in learning more about GP Locum Jobs, check out http://www.thegplocumagency.co.uk/.
These figures indicate that change must be made within the healthcare industry. GPs are a vital part of the healthcare service, providing a first point of contact for members of the public, and a reduced number of GPs will put even more strain on healthcare in Wales.
While the number of locum GPs is rising, the overall decline shows that many GPs are unhappy with the current system.