MSPs welcome additional consideration on healthcare challenges

Gillian Martin MSP
Gillian Martin MSP

North-east MSPs Gillian Martin and Stewart Stevenson have welcomed additional consideration from the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Shona Robison on the healthcare challenges facing the North-east.

During a meeting with the Cabinet Secretary, the North-east MSPs put forward constituent concerns regarding healthcare provisions in the North-east.

Both MSPs raised specific concerns over the dispensary consultation by NHS Grampian and the challenges facing primary care recruitment in the North-east.

Ms Martin said: “My constituents have major concerns about access to dispensary services. In rural areas like ours, people have less access to pharmacies­ – that’s a major reason why dispensaries are often located in surgeries.

"I’ve discussed these concerns with the Cabinet Secretary and she has assured me she will raise our concerns with the NHS Grampian Health Board.

“The consultation taking place with NHS Grampian on dispensaries relies heavily on evidence. It requires local people to make sure there is a balance view of our community needs- I encourage people to keep making their voices heard.

“Recruitment is another area we need to make progress. We persistently face recruitment issues in both my constituency and Mr Stevenson’s. The Scottish Government has assured us that they will assess the effectiveness of their new programmes and change their approach as needed”

Mr Stevenson added: “The Cabinet Secretary has agreed to look at what more organisations like NHS Education for Scotland can do in the way of comprehensive training – at the same time seeing if more can be done to match GPs to the North-east.

“This was an opportunity for the Cabinet Secretary to see what we’re dealing with in the North-east. Rural communities are facing different issues – access to dispensaries, primary care provision – these are all vital, people need to be able to see their GP and access medicine.

“The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport has recognised the difficulties facing the North-east and she has asserted that despite challenges, the Scottish Government is committed to meeting the needs of rural healthcare.”