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Sam Rowlands MS expresses concern about the funding of GP services in Wales

SAM ROWLANDS, Member of the Welsh Parliament for North Wales, has called for assurances that funding for GP services will not be damaged by planned changes to centralise procurement.

Speaking in the Senedd, Mr Rowlands, Shadow Health Minister asked the First Minister for an update on the funding for GP services in Wales.

He said: “Considering the challenges to general practice sustainability that we’re seeing following surgery closures—18% of GPs have closed in Wales in the past decade alone; we’ve had a significant number of contract hand-backs; we’re seeing an increase in managed practices, and external businesses taking over Welsh GP practices.

“Will the First Minister outline his preferred model for general practice? And will he also give assurances to GPs that planned changes to things like central procurement of the flu vaccine will not damage the funding of already stretched GP services.”

The First Minister, Vaughan Gething said the future for general practice would be a mixed model of some GP partnerships in the traditional way and other forms of practice as well. He gave his assurance that central procurement of the flu vaccine would not affect funding for GPs.

Mr Rowlands added: “I still remain very worried about the future of GPs in Wales, especially in North Wales and in our rural areas. Only last month I expressed real concern over the number of GP surgeries lost in the last 10 years in Wales and vowed to keep fighting to save GP surgeries in Wales.

“That reduction of GP surgeries hits our communities hard. We’ve gone from a system of traditional family doctors who know people, their relatives and ailments, to a scenario where we have GP deserts, with poor provision putting even more strain on the GP surgeries that do remain.”