The First Minister has been challenged on the support which the Welsh Government is providing to GP practices in North Powys by local Member of the Senedd, Russell George.
The Member of the Welsh Parliament for Montgomeryshire has questioned the First Minister this week (Tuesday 20th October) and has subsequently written to the Health Minister, Vaughan Gething MS, calling on the Welsh Government to ensure that GP practices can obtain rapid Covid-19 testing and results to ensure that they can keep their teams on the ground with as little disruption as possible and have the support necessary to deliver their Flu Vaccine Campaigns safely.
Mr George is also calling on the Welsh Government to suspend any unnecessary administrative burdens on GP practices and recognise the rurality of Powys (and the challenges which this brings for GP practices) when it comes to fair funding to reflect the costs which GP practices have incurred due to the Covid-19 virus.
After questioning the First Minister, Mr George said:
"GPs have remained open throughout COVID and they have changed the way in which they operated overnight. They have remained the flexible face of health care with swift decision making, responsive actions and prompt patient communication all whilst working with limited team members, increased burdens from secondary care and under the burden of social distancing and test and trace.
"I'm told that GP practices have stood alone in planning and organising this year’s Flu Campaign and the Welsh Government have raised patient expectations by their promotion of flu vaccinations with no detail of how this will be delivered. This is an unsustainable burden on practices and teams are already exhausted and under immense strain.
"GPs here in Powys don't feel that they are being heard by the Welsh Government, they don't feel that their views are important and this is desperately disappointing when GP Practices have been at the forefront of change and delivery despite the many challenges.
"I have written to the Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, to ask for assurances that GP practices will have adequate funding to weather the winter pressures; that they will have rapid testing and results to ensure that they can keep teams on the ground with as little disruption as possible; and that there will be a suspension of any unnecessary administrative burdens so that they are able to continue to deliver the high quality patient care on which they pride themselves."