6 March 2008

Stevenson Delighted At Decision On Aberdeen Child Cancer Services

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the decision
by the SNP Government to retain and enhance child cancer
services in the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital rather than
centralizing services, as announced by Cabinet Secretary for
Health Nicola Sturgeon.

It was also announced that an additional £32 million will be
invested to implement the National Delivery Plan, improving
access to specialist services for children and young people and
ensuring care is better, quicker, safer and closer to home.

The Health Secretary’s announcement was made in response to the
report of the National Steering Group for Specialist Children’s
Services which led a comprehensive review of these services.

Commenting on the continuation of services in Aberdeen, Mr.
Stevenson said:

"Keeping child cancer services in Aberdeen is excellent news
for Banff & Buchan. This move by the SNP Government clearly
vindicates the SNP’s policy of keeping healthcare local and
exposes the flawed decisions made by the previous Labour-Lib
Dem administration who initiated this review.

"The retention of these services will ensure that the best
quality care remains available to those who need it in Banff &
Buchan – and as close to their homes as possible."

"The decision is a clear victory for all those local
campaigners who took their case to Parliament and made sure
that the needs of the North East were heard loud and clear.

"Throughout this process the Scottish Government has taken
advice from experts in the healthcare profession and the
evidence in this case supported their policy of a presumption
against centralising services, and I am pleased that Nicola
Sturgeon has reaffirmed this position.

"I met with Public Health Minister Shona Robison in December,
along with my SNP colleagues Brian Adam MSP and Maureen Watt
MSP, to discuss this issue and urge the Government to retain
these vital services in Aberdeen. I am delighted that the
Government now appears to have taken the right decision and
that services will be staying local."

Stewart Stevenson
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