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Scotland’s doctors are “exhausted” and many are cutting working hours or leaving the health service altogether, according to a senior doctors’ leader.
BMA Scotland chairman Dr Lewis Morrison told BBC Scotland that doctors were “washed out physically and mentally” after 18 months of the Covid pandemic.
He said action was needed to stop doctors leaving the profession and to boost recruitment of new medics.
The Scottish government said it was working to manage the pressures.
Speaking ahead of the BMA’s annual representative meeting, Dr Morrison said the “workforce crisis” had its roots in the number of senior doctor vacancies before the pandemic.
But he said that the NHS “being run at 110% capacity” during Covid had deepened the crisis.
The pressures across the NHS had been “immense” in the past few weeks, he said.
Dr Morrison said doctors traditionally had low levels of sickness but it was starting to rise.
“I think the cumulative effect of the pandemic is now starting to show,” he said.
“The main other thing is to look after people, to give people the space to have rest and recuperation as best they can, to not pressurise people to do more and more.
“The message needs to go to the public to still be patient with the NHS because it cannot meet the needs of everybody right now.”
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