Stewart Stevenson, MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, has highlighted the importance of health care accessibility for people in rural communities.
During a recent Scottish Government debate entitled ‘Redesigning Primary Care for Scotland’s Communities’, Mr Stevenson highlighted the need for more simplicity in the health service, commenting that it can be difficult for people to know who to turn to when they are feeling unwell.
Mr Stevenson said: “Out-of-hours provision, which has been referred to repeatedly throughout this debate, is more complex for the patient.
“I have only discovered while reading the material for this debate that the phone number for NHS 24 is 111. I did not know that,” he said.
Mr Stevenson went on to commend the use of technology by doctors and patients which can help as a first protocol for people who are concerned about their health:
“Technology is helping doctors and patients.
“Nowadays the health service is asking us all to do some health checks.”
However, he then highlighted issues with information sharing, which can prevent patients from getting the best care for them:
“Information about people’s health history is not broadly available.
“Perhaps we should do something very simple: just take all the handwritten notes and scan them in.
“We are focusing on doing difficult things such as translating them into words and interpreting them.
“But there are other things that we perhaps ought to do,” he added.