Scottish GPs oppose checks for over-40s

Proposals for ‘life begins' health checks for all adults aged 40 in Scotland have been criticised by the Scottish GPC.

Dr Stuart Scott, joint deputy chairman of the GPC Scotland, was responding to the SNP
manifesto.

He added: ‘There is little evidence to suggest that these general health checks will actually improve the health of patients.

‘GPs provide comprehensive care to patients with chronic illness, creating individual care plans to manage their conditions. Taking GPs away from this work to do these general health checks would be a waste of resources.’

Dr Scott said the GPC would prefer targeting of groups, such as men living in deprived communities reluctant to go to a GP and at increased risk of developing chronic disease.

But the Scottish GPC welcomed the SNP pledge to train GPs. A Labour manifesto pledge to offer free health checks for all men aged over 40 was criticised.

Dr Dean Marshall, chairman of GPC Scotland, said GPs offered health checks for chronic disease patients through the quality framework.

‘There is no evidence the free full health checks will deliver positive outcomes for all patients.’

Dr Marshall said plans for walk-in centres in commuter hubs targeted those in good health.

‘This scheme will use up resources to provide care for the worried well,’ he added.

He welcomed the commitment to increase the number of GPs to deliver quicker treatment.

The BMA welcomed the Liberal Democrats’ pledge to create more local health centres to improve access to diagnostic and treatment services.

Martin Woodrow, secretary of the BMA in Scotland, added: ‘We are disappointed that they do not mention the role of GPs.’

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