HEALTH watchdogs are calling for urgent action in a bid to avert a funding crisis that is predicted to hit rural GPs.

They fear some rural GP practices in North Yorkshire could become unviable because of planned changes in their financial framework.

And they have warned that without swift action, some communities in rural areas could be left with inadequate local health care.

The chairman of North Yorkshire County Council’s health scrutiny committee, Coun Jim Clark, has now written to NHS chiefs demanding action.

“We have great concern over the long term funding of GP services in North Yorkshire,” he said.

“It is essential that GP practices are properly funded, particularly in rural areas where the cost of providing local access is so much higher.”

The concern centres on the implications of changes to the minimum practice income guarantee system, part of the framework which supports GP practices.

Many doctors have voiced fears over the changes, including one North Yorkshire GP who estimates that his practice could lose about £78,000 a year. They fear such funding shortfalls would pose serious threats to the viability of practices.