An analysis by GP leaders has found that UK patients will have to wait between 20 and 31 years for the number of additional GPs promised by the Conservatives, Labour and UKIP, unless drastic action is taken.
Data from the Royal College of General Practitioners shows that, if current trends continue, patients will have to wait until 2045 for the 8,000 extra GPs promised by Labour and UKIP, and until 2034 for the extra 5,000 more proposed by the Conservatives.
The College has long warned of the growing crisis of dwindling funds and staff shortages within the field, and is now calling on whichever party takes power after the general election this week to introduce an “urgent package of measures” to recruit and retain GPs.
According to the RCGP, 8,000 more GPs will be needed in England by 2020 to keep pace with surging patient demand, alongside an increase in funding from 8.4% of the total NHS budget to 11%.
The findings also come as results of a new opinion poll by ComRes, involving more than 1,000 people across the country, show that almost nine in 10 cite protecting GP services as a high priority for political parties ahead of the election.
Fifty percent said that they anticipate having to wait longer for a GP appointment over the next two years, and just 4% said they thought waiting times could get shorter.