Campaign to reopen two Moray GP practices taken to parliament 

Local MSP Douglas Ross told parliament around 44% of over 50s in Moray now have to wait a week or more to see a GP.

Campaigners calling for the reinstatement of two Moray GP practices say they’re hopeful of progress after the issue was debated in the Scottish Parliament.

Health secretary Neil Gray said he wants local authorities to engage with the Save Our Surgeries group to look at what is possible.

Doctors surgeries in Burghead and Hopeman closed their doors during the pandemic.

They’ve never reopened, forcing some people to have to take a four hour round trip by bus to Lossiemouth to see a GP.

Since then campaigners have pushed for health care services to be restored to local communities.

They took their fight to the Scottish Parliament on Thursday where a debate was led by local MSP Douglas Ross.

Mr Ross said: “44% of over 50s in Moray have to wait a week or more to access GP appointments and many older people don’t have access to a car.

“21% of over 65s don’t own a car in Moray.”

Health secretary Neil Gray in parliamenr

Mr Gray said he wants NHS Grampian and the Moray Health and Social Care Partnership to talk to campaigners to see how services could be provided more locally.

He said: “I would encourage the Health and Social Care Partnership and NHS Grampian to engage with campaigners around any practical suggestions there may be to see how this can be overcome.”

The Save Our Surgeries groups say it’s vital care is available in the heart of communities.

Liz McKnockiter from the group said: “We do have evidence that people are not going to see their doctors, particularly the elderly because the thought of getting on a bus to do a four hour round trip to a doctors surgery is just too  much”.

Dennis Slater from SOS added: “We have got a doctors surgery still lying empty which has been offered to the SOS group for a year rent free. If we could even get a nurse led surgery, we are not asking for a lot.”

Health and Social Care Moray said it’s set up a group to look at the issues, which campaigners have agreed to join, and said it looks forward to working together.

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