BMA elects new GPC Scotland chair

Dundee GP Dr Andrew Buist has been named as the new chair of GPC Scotland (SGPC).

Dr Buist, who has served as deputy chair of the SGPC since 2006, will succeed Dr Alan McDevitt as chair in the next few days.

Dr Buist graduated from Edinburgh medical school in 1987 and has been a GP in Blairgowrie, near Dundee, since 1993.

He takes on the top GP role in BMA Scotland less than a year after 70% of GPs in the country backed a new GP contract deal that took effect from April, despite warnings from rural GPs that the overhaul could push them to 'extinction'.

He said: ‘It is a privilege to be elected to lead SGPC at such an exciting time for general practice. Having been involved in the negotiation of the 2018 GP contract in Scotland, I am keen to build on this and ensure that we maximise its potential to reduce the workload pressures and GP recruitment difficulties that many practices have been facing.’

GP workforce

Workforce issues have hit Scotland hard in recent years, with out-of-hours services being forced to close due to a lack of staff.

Dr Buist said earlier this year:  ‘General practice in Scotland has faced significant difficulties in recruitment and retention, with around one in four practices reporting vacancies… It is only by solving the recruitment and retention challenges in general practice as a whole that we can expect to solve this issue in out-of-hours services.’

As SGPC chair, Dr Buist pledged to ensure that ‘additional investment and resources are available so that GPs can do what they do best – working as expert medical generalists, providing continuity of care to their patients close to home.’

Dr Buist will officially take up office on 23 August 2018. Dr McDevitt, who has chaired the SGPC for the last six years, will continue to serve as a member of the committee and a member of the BMA’s Scottish council.

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