MSP warns of ‘decimation’ of local health services in Moray and Highlands

Keith Health Centre (Facebook)

A HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS MSP has warned of “decimation” of local health services in Moray and throughout the Highland region during a debate at Holyrood this week.

Jamie Halcro Johnston delivered the warning to services throughout his constituency – including in Moray.

Pointing to reduced performance against key waiting times targets across Scotland and the last week’s Audit Scotland report showing significant problems in the health service, he highlighted a number of local examples in the Highlands and Islands and NHS Grampian.

In NHS Grampian there are working arrangements to cover patients from Orkney and Shetland, cardiac patients have suffered increasing waiting times, with service level agreements having to be made with a hospital in Newcastle to treat patients.

In Keith, both staff and patients have demanded answers on a new facility to replace the Turner Memorial Hospital and Keith Health Centre, which are becoming increasingly unsuitable to deliver effective medical services.

Speaking following the debate the MSP said: “We are seeing real strains on the NHS in the northern Scotland which simply aren’t being addressed. Health boards are struggling to plan for the future with reduced resources and staff shortages blighting boards across Scotland.

“These decisions are the result of the SNP Government’s choices and the end result is a real risk to local services in rural and island communities in the Highlands and Islands and in Moray.

“We have thousands of fantastic NHS staff working to give the best possible care to patients across the Highlands and Islands – care which they try to provide as locally as possible. It’s just a shame that we don’t have a Scottish Government with the same ambitions.”