A group set up to improve health care in Lochee plans to take its campaign city-wide after claiming victory in the fight to increase GP provision.
The Invest in Lochee Health Centre campaign was launched after NHS Tayside was forced to step in and take control of the clinic in March this year as it no longer had any GPs.
Although there were fears the centre would close, the health board has since appointed three GPs and NHS Tayside chief executive Lesley McLay has now revealed two more are due to start.
This will return the number of doctors at the practice to its full complement of five.
Leah Ganley from the Invest in Lochee Health Centre campaign said the campaign’s success means they may now take their fight for improved patient care city-wide.
She said: “Lesley McLay’s pledge that the number of GPs at Lochee will be increased to five – assuming this means three full-time equivalent GPs – is a significant victory for the community.
“Back in March this year, Lochee was down to a single doctor. This was causing unacceptable delays in accessing appointments and raised real worries about the future of the health centre.
“Our campaign was set-up to fight for a full complement of three GPs and additional support and other medical staff to deal with the demand.
“This now seems to have been achieved, and is an example of what is possible when communities get organised and fight for their rights.”
Ms Ganley said there are seven GP practices in Dundee that are on restrictive lists, which means they can not take on any new patients.
She said: “This shows that the continued fight for investment in GP services is ongoing and necessary and not just in Lochee.
“We will therefore be discussing plans to continue and extend the campaign in defence of GP services and against all NHS cuts, particularly given the £175 million in ‘savings’ that the health board intends to make over the next three years.
“It is impossible to believe that this level of cuts will not have a real impact on frontline NHS care as well as attacks on staff pay and terms and conditions and increased workloads.”
The group will hold its next meeting at Cox’s Cafe Bar on October 17 at 7pm and Ms Ganely said representatives from other communities are welcome to attend.
She added: “We’ve asked for a written response from the health board confirming their plans for investment and extra resources into Lochee so that the community can have access to the full facts.”