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27 September 2016

Stevenson Calls for Cross Party Support of the NHS

SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson called for Parliamentary unity and a diverse approach to support the NHS by ensuring access to recruit EU health professionals and focusing on the benefits of rural living.

Mr Stevenson spoke during a Parliamentary debate in which he emphasised the importance of having a multifaceted approach to the NHS and the progress made in the Scottish NHS. He focused on the prominence of migration, preventative care and rural recruitment as key to ensuring the future of a free-at-the-point-of-need health service.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said,

“NHS Scotland is outperforming the NHS in the rest of the UK across the board, which is a testament to the Scottish Government’s commitment to a free-at-the-point-of-need health service. While we are performing significantly better than our equivalents down south ­– we remain committed to improving and developing NHS Scotland.

“My father was a GP before the NHS was established, at the time he had no ancillary staff and working hours from 7:30am to 9pm. Then when I worked as a nurse in the 60s, there were often only two of us on the ward when there should have been six. Our staff levels are substantially better now than they were then. The NHS has come a long way.

“One essential development in the NHS is preventative care. In an environment with greater burden on the health service – prevention must be a priority. It is better for our health and our health service. I myself have benefitted from preventative screenings and consider them a principal element of proactive health care.

“It is also necessary that we find ways of closing the skills gap in the sector. One way of doing that is through immigration and we have greatly benefitted from the skills of our European citizens. I commend the effort that NHS Grampian and the Scottish Government are making in pursuit of rural GP recruitment. It is paramount that we aggressively pursue this and extoll the various benefits of serving rural areas.”
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