With increasing burdens mounting on NHS staff, Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, today asked the Health Secretary what assistance the Scottish Government was providing to NHS boards that were currently experiencing pressures ahead of winter.
Humza Yousaf, rehashed his announcement of 5th October which reiterated that the NHS will ‘remain on an emergency footing until at least 31 March next year.’
Speaking in Parliament, Mrs Grant highlighted that “There are many concerns around the Covid vaccine roll out, boosters and take up of flu vaccinations at a time when health boards are grappling with additional staff shortages and increasing resignations.
“In my own region GPs in Alness and Invergordon have notified NHS Highland that they will be handing back their contract from early next year.
“What is the Scottish Government doing to support GPs and Health Boards who are facing unprecedented pressure, even before winter pressures set in?”
The Cabinet Secretary said he couldn’t divorce the impact of the pandemic from other pressures placed on the NHS and assured that the additional winter funding announced on the 5th October would include a significant amount of investment including primary care.
After the meeting Mrs Grant said: “Despite the Health Secretary’s assurances on liaising with the BMA and an expected ‘increase in GP face-to-face appointments’ there is a growing concern regarding the future resignations of GPs within the Highlands and Islands.
“This follows on from yesterday’s announcement from NHS Highland that they will take over the running of Alness and Invergordon medical practice from April 2022.
“Mr Yousaf avoided answering the local question which gives me the impression he’s not interested in the problems of delivering health care in our mostly rural Highlands and Islands.”