The health secretary said the government would support the recruitment of 5,000 new GPs and reduce workload and red tape in return for seven-day access.
But a group called the Campaign for GP Survival, which launched the petition, so far signed by over 2,240 people, said the plans would ‘erode primary care and put patient safety at risk’.
‘We doubt that 5000 GPs, whenever they appear, will cover the number of GPs retiring early and those emigrating,' said the petition started by GP blogger Dr Samir Dawlatly.
Fund for struggling GPs
It called a £10m fund announced by Mr Hunt to support struggling practices ‘a sticking plaster’.
‘Nothing in this so-called "new deal" will help us with our real and present struggle to manage Monday to Friday services given current levels of demand. Extending hours will actually cause the loss of continuity of care as services are spread more thinly,' it said.
The petitioners propose the government and NHS England should increase primary care investment to 11% of the NHS budget, invest in existing GP out-of-hours services, tackle indemnity costs, scrap unnecessary regulation and refrain from negative press to help improve morale.