A general practitioner (GP) also called a family doctor or a primary care physician is a medical doctor who works outside of a hospital. They deal with all sorts of health problems. They often get to know families over a long time. This continuity is very important. In many countries they send people to see specialists. Away from towns they may have to deal with emergencies and deliver babies. They spend most of their time looking after illness in young children and old people.
In many countries general practitioners run their own small business. They are very important in rural medicine.
United Kingdom[change | change source]
In December 2022 there were 36,622 permanent qualified GPs working in England - Full-time equivalent was 27,375. 69% worked between 15 and 37.5 hours a week. The COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom changed the way they worked. Telephone and video was used much more. Some people were very unhappy about this and there were a lot more complaints. In Northumberland, Gosport, Wolverhampton and West Cheshire some of the GPs now work for the local hospital trust.
Numbers of GPs have been dropping for several years. Demographic change has led to “demand outstripping supply” with an increasing – and increasingly elderly – population putting immense pressure on GP services which have not expanded in the last ten years.
Spain[change | change source]
In November 2022 more than 4,000 GPs in Madrid went on an ‘indefinite strike’. People had to wait a week to see a GP. They were each seeing ‘more than 50 or 60 patients’ in their working day.
References[change | change source]
- Sandvik, Hogne; Hetlevik, Øystein; Blinkenberg, Jesper; Hunskaar, Steinar (2022-02-01). "Continuity in general practice as predictor of mortality, acute hospitalisation, and use of out-of-hours care: a registry-based observational study in Norway". British Journal of General Practice. 72 (715): e84–e90. doi:10.3399/BJGP.2021.0340. ISSN 0960-1643. PMC 8510690. PMID 34607797.
- Millward, Gareth (2022). Sick Note. Oxford: OUP. p. 32. ISBN 9780192865748.
- "General Practice Workforce, 31 December 2022". NDRS. Retrieved 2023-02-06.
- Potter, Costanza (2022-11-28). "Patient complaints to GP practices rise almost 40% in a year but half not upheld". Pulse Today. Retrieved 2023-02-11.
- Carter, Rachel (2022-12-24). "2022 in review: Javid's plan for GPs in hospitals". Pulse Today. Retrieved 2023-03-07.
- "Too far, too old, too few: Europe is running out of doctors". POLITICO. 2022-11-21. Retrieved 2023-02-10.
- "One third of Scottish GP surgeries could close in coming months, according to new research". Scotsman. 12 Feb 2023. Retrieved 12 Feb 2023.
- Potter, Costanza (2022-11-23). "More than 4,000 Madrid GPs go on 'indefinite strike' to halt doctor exodus". Pulse Today. Retrieved 2023-02-10.