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UK Patients At Risk, As Doctors See "60 Patients A Day"

Photo: Sydney Hass
In a new report, the British Medical Association has announced concerns that GPs are oversubscribed, putting patients at risk.

According to the BBC
, the BMA have expressed that patients are receiving less than 10 minutes with their GPs, who see up to 60 patients a day (the average, however, is thought to be around 30 to 40 patients, according to the Guardian)

Entitled "safe working in general practice", the BMA's report claimed that UK GPs face "unsustainable pressure" due to understaffing. It also described "general practice" as in a state of "crisis".

Britain has an ageing population, meaning that we are tending to live longer, and yet the report acknowledges that patients are referring to their GPs for increasingly complex conditions, meaning that GPs are not only faced with increasing numbers of patients, but a demand for "higher quality care".

The solution? Dr Brian Balmer, of the BMA's GPs' committee, said he believes that GPs should be limited to seeing 25 patients a day.

He suggested that minimum consultation time "needs to increase to 15 minutes" for the right provision of attention to be given to patients. This would require better government funding.

Until 2013, the law claimed that GP appointments but last a minimum of 10 minutes in the UK, meaning there is currently no fixed rule on how long GPs should spend with patients.

At the time, a spokeswoman for NHS England told the BBC: "GPs are professionals who know what is best for their patients."