Dumfriesshire MSP Oliver Mundell has hit out at the SNP Government’s Health Secretary after she claimed out of hours GP services in the east of the region can be provided in Stranraer.
Mr Mundell had asked Shona Robison to investigate concerns that there had been a lack of out of hours GP cover in Dumfries but has been left dismayed by her answer, which he has branded as completely unacceptable.
In her answer, Ms Robison had highlighted that when Dumfries has no out of hours GP services, Stranraer will provide the cover. This means that after doctors surgeries close, the only GP on duty in the whole of Dumfries and Galloway could be based in Stranraer.
This has angered Mr Mundell who highlighted the 75 miles distance between Stranraer and Dumfries and questioned whether this was happening at other health services in Dumfriesshire.
Commenting Oliver Mundell MSP said: “This is a pathetic response from the Health Secretary who only highlights the well documented problems with GP cover across the region that have worsened on the SNP Government’s watch.
“It is completely disingenuous for her to suggest that it is acceptable for GP out of hours services in Dumfries to be provided from a town 75 miles away.
“Stranraer is even further away from Annan, Moffat, Langholm and Lockerbie.
“We are faced in the absurd situation where the Health Secretary in Edinburgh would be closer to many people in our region than the nearest GP.
“Instead of trying to pretend all is well with GP services in the region, the Health Secretary should be focusing her efforts on ensuring that these situations are not happening on a regular basis.
“People in Dumfries will not accept that the nearest out of hours service is being provided in Stranraer, especially with such poor transport links along the A75 and in light of recent bad weather.
“This situation is putting patients at risk and despite the efforts of our hardworking NHS staff there is no doubt in my mind that we are being left with a Cinderella service.”