Tony Blair 'started GP crisis' says Nigel Farage with people waiting 'weeks' for an appointment

Nigel believes the current GP situation is 'a problem and a crisis'

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Nigel Farage believes the ongoing GP “crisis” started during former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s time in office.

Nigel added Mr Blair, who served as Prime Minister between 1997 and 2007, was big on increasing spending on the NHS and recruiting more doctors during his successful 1997 general election campaign.

But the former Brexit Party leader says the number of GPs began to fall compared to the growing population during Mr Blair’s time in charge.

Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage
Tony Blair served as Prime Minister between 1997 and 2007
Tony Blair served as Prime Minister between 1997 and 2007

Speaking on GB News, Nigel said: “We’ve met audiences, and one of their primary concerns is access to GP services, they say it’s going to take them weeks to get an appointment, they’re frustrated, they’re angry and some of there are a bit scared by the whole thing.

“The older people have been used to a system that’s been there for a quarter of a century that they’ve trusted in, they’ve believed, and it’s always worked.

“We had a GP in from Rochester and we’re learning that so many of these GPs spend the first half of the consultation dealing with people’s frustrations about not getting appointments.

“It’s 25 years ago this week that Tony Blair became Prime Minister.

“Increasing spending on the NHS and getting more doctors was absolutely at the centre of his successful 1997 general election campaign.

He continued: “But also with that campaign was one of opening up the borders, of really quite radically changing the British population.

“And here’s where we are 25 years on – the population of the country since Blair went into 10 Downing Street has risen by 10 million people.

“To be fair, in the first few years, as the population rose, the number of GPs per thousand patients kept in line with that because they were recruiting more and more GPs.

“But since 2006, the population has continued to rise but the ratio of GPs per 100,000 patients has changed.

“It was 66 GPs per 100,000 patients in 2006, it's now 58 and it’s going down.

“The Government promised they would recruit hundreds of thousands of doctors, but actually there are about 1,700 fewer GPs now than there were in 2017.

“We have a problem, we have a crisis.”