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A breakthrough as the Health Board announce the Review finds in favour of keeping services local

7th August 2001

Check out what Susan Deacon the Health Minister for Scotland said in her September press release following publication of the Arbuthnott Report on allocations of expenditure for rural areas. The report has a short summary of the main points as well as the full report. [ read more here ]

The report by Professor Sir John Arbuthnott entitled Fair Shares For All - The Report of the National Review of Resource Allocation for the NHS in Scotland. [ read full report here ]

The report goes into great detail about the problems of rural areas although it can be difficult comparing areas of deprivation - of poverty and poor services in large cities against rural areas like Highland.

One of the problems can be the perception of ideal lifestyles in the Highlands which may be the case if you have a job and an income to cope with the greater distances. Also the Highlands is very diverse and the political structure pushes this vast area into one political region. This has been pointed out by many members of the public. And it has not gone unnoticed that the health services under a Caithness set up were in the Black and the health service as provided by an Inverness based set up is now heavily in the red.

Is Caithness and Sutherland having to bear the brunt of a debt it did not incur? The people of the north did not want the present NHS Trust set up to be brought in and they were ignored. Will the same thing happen to maternity services? Any downgrading of the services will be to the detriment of local people.

No one will take it as a victory if it is announced that the Maternity unit is to remain but the consultant Obstetrician services are lost pulling down not only maternity but gynaecology services also.

This may set in train other problems as it knocks on problems to other parts of the hospital such as anaesthesia and GP's who are left to deal with emergencies that will happen. Or the ambulance service that till have to take more patients to Raigmore hospital in Inverness.

[This article has been transferred here from our archives]

 

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