Our relationship with general practitioners has changed over the past year. Even at the beginning of the pandemic, there were signs that people were not going to the family doctor during the lockdown. This caused concern among many doctors who urged people not to suffer in silence or to let concern grow.
Having a good relationship with your GP can be the key to wider health awareness and positive outcomes. So I think GPs have an important role to play in restoring our NHS after the pandemic.
As well as catching up on residues, doctors are preoccupied with their role in distributing the vaccine. It is important that we recognize the critical role of general practitioners and ensure that they have adequate funding and human resources to make this happen.
I have been concerned for some time that general medicine receives less than 10% of the NHS Scotland budget, even though 90% of patient contacts are primary care. I led an opposition debate in Holyrood in 2019, where Parliament agreed that the figure should be 11% of NHS funding, which the Royal College of General Practitioners called for in its 2021 Manifesto.
This makes sense because those who are at the forefront of communities, such as B. General Practitioners, do this
well positioned to address health inequalities and provide preventive health care. The Scottish Greens will try to increase the time it takes for consultations with GPs to allow these discussions to take a more holistic approach. This is what general practitioners want and what would help patients, but it means having the capacity to manage.
It is clear that we need to build the general practitioner workforce to ensure that general practitioners and the wider practice team can offer a minimum of 15 minutes for appointments by default, with an appropriate mix of face-to-face, phone and virtual consultations.
We have seen more pharmacists and physical therapists join the primary care team and that is to be welcomed. I would like to see the team expand.
There is no doubt that UK poverty and austerity have contributed to Scotland’s health inequalities. Financial health is absolutely related to physical and mental health.
As the Scottish Green Social Security spokesperson, I was very concerned about how much support there is for people out there who just aren’t being called because they feel discouraged to apply. Often times people don’t even know that there is special support. With Scotland’s distributed benefits going online it will be challenging to bring them to the attention of everyone who is entitled to them.
This is why the Scottish Greens want to see social workers as part of the practice teams to ensure everyone has access to the support they need so they can live healthier and happier lives.
And although it is far too early to understand the huge implications
The past year has had an impact on our mental health. It is clear that more needs to be done to integrate mental health services to ensure that they are on par with physical health promotion services.
As part of our plans to target 10% of frontline health spending on mental health by 2026, the Scottish Greens would refer psychiatrists to primary care practices. I believe this direct contact with mental health professionals would have the potential to save lives and expand access to medicines like cognitive behavioral therapy and social prescribing – where a doctor can say that physical activity or a hobby might be more appropriate than prescribing medication .
We also need to prioritize support for children and adolescents who waited far too long for mental health treatment before the pandemic. The Greens would invest an additional £ 161 million in mental health services for children and adolescents to meet demand, but we should also be much more serious about prevention.
The Scottish Greens have already worked to ensure that personal and social education in schools has a stronger focus on mental health, adding topics such as consent-based sex education and LGBT inclusivity to the curriculum. We can build on this work to ensure schools are centered on wellbeing.
Prevention is also about understanding what leads to a healthier lifestyle. It’s about making sure our communities are
Have access to safe roads and
Green spaces that are encouraged and supported to be active and eat well. To create such communities, our economy must focus on wellbeing, not just economic growth.
We must seize this moment we are in, emerging from the greatest public health emergency in living memory, to reconsider our priorities and create a healthier, fairer and greener Scotland.
Given Scotland’s ongoing health challenges and decades of inequalities, it would be unthinkable to go back to how things were. Therefore we ask people to vote as if our future depends on it.
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