Date lodged: 29 July 2016
To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S4O-05555 by Shona Robison on 11 February 2016 (Official Report, c. 2), whether it will provide an update on what action it is taking to increase the number of GPs in rural areas, including the incentives that are made available to rural practices.
Answered by: Shona Robison 23 August 2016
The Scottish Government is fully committed to supporting primary care, including GPs, and ensuring that all communities in Scotland, including remote and rural, receive safe, reliable and sustainable health care services.
Over three years, the Scottish Government is investing £85 million, as part of the Primary Care Fund. As part of this, over £2 million will be invested in work to explore with key stakeholders the issues surrounding GP recruitment and retention which can be particularly challenging in remote and rural areas. This will support a range of initiatives over the next two years including the establishment of a Scottish rural medicine collaborative in seven health boards. This initiative will bring together recruitment strategies and support networks for GPs working in remote and rural areas.
Since 11 February 2016, the Scottish Government has also updated the Directions around the Golden Hello scheme which incentivises GPs to work in rural areas.