Tavish - Scottish Government has not ruled out health board merger

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott has criticised the Scottish Government over the lack of information about the future of island health boards.

During a Members’ Business debate led by Liam McArthur MSP, concerns were raised by MSPs from across the parties about the potential centralisation of health services and merger of current health boards.

Tavish referred to the difficulties NHS Shetland continues to face in recruiting healthcare professionals, which could be exacerbated by uncertainties about reform in coming years.

Speaking after the debate, Tavish said:

“This debate showed the extent to which a one-size-fits-all approach is opposed by MSPs.

“Instead of reassuring us that the government’s plans will protect NHS Shetland and NHS Orkney, the government sent the mental health minister, who suggested that there may be no need for separate health boards in the future.

“The government must clarify what will be included in its review and when it will take place. Until then, the uncertainty will only deter those in the medical profession from considering a job with NHS Shetland, which desparately needs these skills.”

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