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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-08250: Alison Johnstone (Lothian)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 20 March 2017

To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to tackle health inequalities by adjusting the Scottish allocation formula.

Answered by: Shona Robison 7 April 2017

Tackling health inequalities and the 'inverse care law' is one of our primary care outcomes, as published in a joint memorandum with the British Medical Association Scottish General Practitioner Committee (BMA SGPC) [http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/11/7258]. One way of delivering on this outcome as part of contractual change would be to adjust the Scottish Allocation Formula (SAF), which weights general practice funding by various factors that affect workload, including deprivation, rurality and age. The Scottish Government is clear that we need to look beyond the GP contract to other interventions and ways of supporting general practice in areas of high deprivation. Changes outwith the contract such as multidisciplinary working and the manifesto commitment to introduce 250 Links workers will be vital for supporting patients in deprived areas.

The Scottish Government and the SGPC agree, in principle, that we need better information and evidence to inform both accurate recompense of expenses and options for the long term overall development of GP pay in Scotland. To this end, we have commissioned a review of general practice funding, pay and expenses to provide a proper, robust evidence base for improved decision making. This is taking place in 2017, and inform options from 2018.