PATIENTS are waiting three weeks to see a GP in some parts of Glasgow, it has emerged.
Lengthy waits are leading desperate patients to the doors of A&E for non-emergency treatment, heaping pressure on already overstretched hospital services.
The worrying picture emerged during NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's annual review meeting yesterday, when one pensioner told the board he had waited 21 days for a GP appointment in the Springburn area.
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Senior officials with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde admitted the board received "regular reports" about GP waiting times. The board also admitted that it would struggle to meet a four-hour A&E waiting times target in the foreseeable future.
Jackie Fox, from Ballornock, said patients from his area were resorting to casualty services because of delays to see their GP and said: "It is going to be very hard to break into the four-hour waits."
Keith Redpath, Interim Chief Officer at NHSGGC, said: "Access to GP services is something we receive regular reports on. I certainly recognise that if people can't access GP services, in some places it's easier to go to an alternative service.
"It is less that appropriate for people to turn up at A&E." Mr Redpath said the health board worked closed with GP services to monitor waiting times and resolve issues. Figures show that as of March 2014, 89.6% of patients waited four hours or less for A&E treatment at Glasgow's hospitals, falling well short of the 95% target.
A report published in May showed the number of patients waiting more than four hours in A&E has almost trebled in five years.
The government is now further away from reaching its target than before the last election, the analysis by Audit Scotland found.