Hours decision irks Scots GPs

GPC Scotland chairman Dr Dean Marshall has hit out at the Scottish Executive for ignoring the needs of Scottish patients by following the line set by Westminster.

Dr Marshall argued in last Friday's Herald newspaper that NHS boards should be able to set local priorities, he said. Extended hours services made sense in the central belt, but many GPs would prefer to see scarce NHS resources spent on tackling health inequalities.

'However, these constructive discussions were superseded by the UK government's plans, which were swiftly adopted by the Scottish administration,' Dr Marshall added.

'If only the Scottish National Party government had had the courage to take a separate approach to do what is best for the NHS in Scotland rather than following the lead of Labour in Westminster.'

In a separate report in Scotland On Sunday, Dr Marshall predicted that most GPs would take a pay cut rather than offer extended hours.

Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeons promised that the Executive would not impose a deal without further discussions with doctors.

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