A FIFE councillor has told Linburn Road Health Centre to take action after the Press revealed that a family had called 100 times to try to book an appointment. 

Two weeks ago, Duloch dad Sean Dolan-Osborne told the Press the GP surgery's same-day appointment system "fails miserably" for working families. 

His wife, daughter and himself have all been trying to get an appointment for weeks but as patients have to call at 8.30am each morning it had become an impossible task. 

Councillor David J Ross, Conservative lead for Health and Social Care, said the situation was "unacceptable". 

"In the Dunfermline Press article it stated that people were ringing the surgery up to 100 times a day in an attempt to get an appointment which is unacceptable," he said. 

"There should be more effective ways for people to make appointments and if people have to ring at a certain time of day to make an appointment then there should be sufficient staffing levels to deal with this demand.

"It's clear from the story that the appointment system is not working and they need to look at another system, such as online. 

"Especially with many in the local community commuting to Edinburgh, it needs to be up to date."

Sean is so frustrated with the situation he decided to register with another surgery with an advanced appointment system but was unable to do so as four out of five Dunfermline surgeries are not accepting new patients. 

Cllr Ross added: "I am very aware that people both across Fife and also Scotland-wide have great difficulty getting GP appointments with waits of four or six weeks commonplace, therefore it is now time that the SNP government, who have been in charge of the health service for 12 years, took action to deal with the crisis facing GP services.

"The cap on how many students can study medicine should be taken away. 

"The problem is not going to be solved overnight but we need more medics training."

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: "We are aware of the pressures facing the Linburn Road practice due to current staff shortages. 

"NHS Fife are working closely with the practice to offer support where they can and they have a highly-skilled multi-disciplinary team working to support the GP complement and enhance the delivery of high-quality care so that people see the right professional at the right time.

"We are committed to increasing the number of GPs in Scotland by at least 800 over the next decade. We welcome the increase in GP numbers, with the additional 75 GPs over the last year, meaning we now have a record number of GPs working in Scotland.

"We invested a further £7.5 million in Scotland in 2018/19 in GP recruitment and retention as part of our commitment that by the end of this Parliament we’ll be investing an additional £500 million per year in Primary Care. That includes £250 million in direct support of general practice.

"The number of doctors in training has increased by more than 10 per cent under this Government. In addition, by 2020/21, we will have increased medical schools places by 22 per cent, equivalent to an extra 190 places.

"The new GP contract, backed by increased investment in 2019/20 and negotiated with the BMA and GPs, introduces multi-disciplinary teams to practices to ensure GPs are able to spend more time with patients, and less time on bureaucracy, making a career in general practice even more attractive to younger doctors."