The summer closure of a major Perthshire GP surgery is having an impact on neighbouring services, it has been claimed.
Politicians have raised concerns over the impact the loss of the Bridge of Earn GP surgery has had across Perth and Kinross.
This decision led to many of the 3,500 patients at the Bridge of Earn surgery being re-allocated a doctor elsewhere in Perth and Kinross, including those living in Glenfarg.
As well as the Loch Leven Health Centre in Kinross, patients at the Victoria Practice’s satellite Methven surgery have seen their premises repeatedly fail to open since October, two months after the parent surgery took on scores of Bridge of Earn patients.
Conservatives, Kinross-shire councillor Callum Purves and Liz Smith MSP, said a “lose-lose” situation has been created for patients in both areas.
Mr Purves said: “Loch Leven Health Centre caters for residents throughout Kinross-shire and it is an entirely unsatisfactory scenario to put more pressure on its GPs and make things difficult for residents due to the surgery being responsible for medical treatment for so many people.
“There is a significant level of disenchantment among residents in Kinross due to it being more difficult now to get an appointment at Loch Leven Health Centre.
“I feel it is basically a lose-lose situation for Kinross-shire and Glenfarg residents, who are now both going to find it more difficult to get an appointment with a doctor.”
Ms Smith said: “I have put pressure on NHS Tayside to be more transparent after local residents in Bridge of Earn complained of a lack of communication over the whole matter.
“We are still waiting to hear if NHS Tayside will provide a local community health service by way of a ‘nurse-led’ practice.
“The health board are exploring the possibility of providing this service at a community nurses’ house in Bridge of Earn, a move suggested at a meeting of the Perth and Kinross IJB.
“However, until we get a concrete decision from NHS Tayside, frustrated residents in Kinross-shire and Glenfarg face yet more months of anxiously vying with one another in an attempt to see their GP.”
The Courier contacted Loch Leven Health Centre but management were unable to respond to a request for comment.
An NHS Tayside spokesperson confirmed the strain on Loch Leven since the influx of Bridge of Earn patients has not prevented them from registering more patients.
They said: “The GP Practices were involved in discussions around the transfer of Bridge of Earn patients and they are currently still accepting new patients on to their lists.”