One third of Welsh GPs considering retirement, poll says

GPs Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Twenty one per cent of Welsh GPs surveyed by the BMA said they did not want to change roles within five years

A senior doctor has warned the Welsh GP system is at "breaking point" after a poll suggested 35% of GPs are considering retirement within five years.

A third of 748 GPs in Wales surveyed by the British Medical Association (BMA) said they were thinking of quitting within that period.

The Welsh government said it was "working hard" to attract GPs.

Dr Phil White, from BMA in Wales, said a Welsh GP shortage was "inevitable".

He told BBC Radio Cymru's Post Cyntaf programme: "We are facing a serious situation. We already have problems in areas such as Conwy and the Llyn Peninsula where you have one GP serving 5,000 patients".

The proportion of Welsh GPs polled who said they were considering retirement in the next five years was on par with the rest of the UK.

As part of the BMA survey of 15,000 doctors in the UK, 10% of Welsh GPs polled said their workload was manageable.

A Welsh government spokesman said: "In this UK-wide survey around half of those who responded were over 50, compared to 41% in Wales, so the results may overstate GPs' intentions to retire.

"There are now more than 2,000 GPs working in the Welsh NHS, an increase of 10.5% since 2004."

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