Tavish calls for views on island healthcare

Tavish has issued a call for views from across the islands ahead of a debate over the future of health boards in the Scottish Parliament. 

The motion, lodged by Orkney MSP Liam McArthur, will be debated next Thursday. It calls on the Scottish Government to recognise the specific challenges and needs of health and social care services in the islands by protecting NHS Orkney and NHS Shetland. The Scottish Government committed to a review of health boards in its plan for the coming year.

Commenting, Tavish Scott said:

“Many people are worried that this government will take power away from the islands by merging our NHS boards. The Scottish Liberal Democrats will not let that happen.

“I am interested to hear from people across Shetland of their experiences of our NHS, from maternity services to end-of-life care. The government must recognise that a one-size-fits-all approach does not work here.”


Notes: Views can be submitted by email to tscott@supanet.com.

The motion due to be debated on Thursday 6th October is as follows:

That the Parliament considers local NHS boards to be key in delivering frontline services across Scotland’s distinct communities; believes that a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works, particularly in delivering health care in Orkney and Shetland where, more often than not, island communities require different solutions to the central belt; acknowledges that the nature of delivering health and care services in rural and remote island communities inevitably requires additional resources; recognises that decisions about how those services are most effectively delivered are best made locally; considers therefore that concerns that the Scottish Government’s intention to “examine the number, structure and regulation of health boards” could lead to the amalgamation of NHS boards to the detriment of providing the best possible health care in the islands, and notes calls for the Scottish Government to undertake to protect island health boards, including NHS Orkney and NHS Shetland, in its forthcoming review.

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