Hundreds of thousands of NHS patients could lose the ability to see their GP face to face because their doctors may have to protect themselves from coronavirus.
An analysis by the Health Foundation charity has found around a third of GPs who run their practice on their own are at high risk from the virus themselves.
If they are forced to abandon face-to-face consultations the charity warned it could deny 710,000 patients access to their doctor.
Dr Rebecca Fisher, senior policy fellow at the Health Foundation and a GP said: “The ongoing risk of Covid-19 to the safety of both patients and GPs means hundreds of thousands of people may find it much harder to get a face-to-face GP appointment.
“It’s particularly worrying that GPs at higher risk from Covid-19 are far more likely to be working in areas of high deprivation. Those are precisely the areas with the greatest health need, the biggest burden from Covid-19, and an existing under-supply of GPs relative to need. Unless urgent action is taken this could become another way in which poorer communities become further disadvantaged, and risks further widening health inequalities.”
Source: The Independent, 6 August 2020
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