Local MP David Duguid has called on the Scottish Government to set a target date for the return of more normal, face-to-face GP services.
The Banff and Buchan MP's call comes after the Scottish Conservatives led a debate in the Scottish Parliament urging SNP Ministers to commit to outlining when patients will routinely be able to see their GP face-to-face in Angus.
The SNP-Green Government and other parties voted against the Scottish Conservative motion.
Mr Duguid has thanked local GPs for going above and beyond during the pandemic but says they are completely overwhelmed. That is also having a knock-on effect in other health services in Grampian, including ambulance wait times and A&E services.
He said the SNP government were warned for years about a lack of funding for GP services in the likes of Peterhead and Fraserburgh.
According to Public Health Scotland, many local GPs were having to deal with a higher than average number of patients this year.
Peterhead health centre had 13 GPs with 1,709 patients each in April this year, while Macduff had 2,467 each for five GPs, Saltoun in Fraserburgh had three GPs with 2,809 patients for each, and Mintlaw had 2,119 patients for each of its four GPs.
Mr Duguid said:
“The refusal of the SNP-Green Government to back a swifter return to more normal, face-to-face GP appointments in my Banff and Buchan constituency is extremely disappointing.
“The SNP cannot use Covid as an excuse. They were warned for years about how our GPs in the likes of Mintlaw and Banff were overwhelmed and underfunded, but they failed to take any action.
“Our GPs have gone above and beyond during the pandemic to support patients but they are at breaking point. The SNP’s mismanagement of the health service over the last 14 years is failing GPs as they try to recover from the pandemic.
“By refusing to set this target date, SNP Health Secretary Humza Yousaf is letting down patients.
“As we head towards winter, these pressures will only worsen. I will be continuing to hold the SNP Government to account, and push for a return of more face-to-face appointments between patients and their GP.”