It comes as Brookeborough and Tempo group of practices have handed back their contract.
Mrs Erskine said,
“These are not new issues they have been brewing for years. It is long passed the time when action should have been taken. Over 10 years ago, it was warned that the rural areas were facing a crisis and measures needed to be implemented to have a sustainable primary care model going forward. Action must be taken now to stave the haemorrhaging in General Practice.
It is concerning that another GP surgery has handed their contract back. This is due to the extreme pressures with a shortage in workforce and many other issues, including the failure to invest to save for the future.
I am one of the 8,000 patients affected. I know many will be concerned. In the coming days I will be speaking to GPs, the Department of Health and the Western Trust.
The Department of Health has been well aware of this pressure as I have raised it previously and others have been raising for years.
Hopefully solutions can be found and I will be working with officials to that end. Today I am also thinking of the doctors, nurses and staff at the Practice. This is a very difficult situation, and they need our support during this time.”