DESPERATELY NEEDED FUNDING for a new health centre and hospital in Keith should be a priority for the Scottish Government.
That is according to Moray’s MP Douglas Ross ahead of a visit by the Health Minister to the Moray town on Monday.
Mr Ross said that Shona Robison, who is visiting the Keith Health Centre and Turner Memorial Hospital to meet staff and member of the local Parent Participation Group (PPG), must find the funding to provide new facilities.
Ahead of the meeting the MP said: “Keith has made the compelling case for a new Hospital which is the number one priority for NHS Grampian in Moray. All we need now is the SNP government to announce the funding and things can progress quickly.
“If this visit is just another photo opportunity it will be viewed very dimly by local people who want action. The Scottish Government have to use this visit to Keith to confirm that the funding for a new health centre and hospital is secured; anything less will be a disappointment for the area.
“The PPG has been campaigning for years to get new health facilities for Keith, having recently collected thousands of signatures on a petition, and Shona Robison has to use her visit to announce that the SNP Government is now providing the funding that will allow the project to get underway.
“The outcome of this Ministerial visit will be watched by everyone in Keith and the surrounding area, the health care professionals and the PPG and the 7000 patients registered with the town’s health centre.”
Mr Ross has been at the forefront of calls for updated facilities in the Moray town and pointed out it was a responsibility of the Scottish Government.
He added: “We saw UK Chancellor Philip Hammond give an additional £2.8billion over the next two years to the NHS in England and it’s now time for the SNP Government to step up and provide us with the funding we need in Keith.
“With additional funding to Scotland as part of last week’s budget, Shona Robison has absolutely no excuse not to allocate money to a new, integrated healthcare facility for Keith during her visit.
“For too long this SNP Government has focussed on the Central Belt when it comes to spending money. The people of Moray need significant investment in our NHS services and I look forward to hearing what Shona Robison announces while in Keith.”