Inverness campaigner has petition considered at Scottish Parliament

Today the Scottish Parliament’s Citizen’s Participation and Public Petitions Committee considered petition PE1723 on Essential Tremor.  Brought forward by petitioner and formidable campaigner Mary Ramsay from Inverness, the petition calls for Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) technology to be made available on the NHS.

The non-invasive and effective treatment could benefit over 4000 patients currently living with essential tremor.  The treatment can also be used to treat a number of conditions and offers the opportunity for further research.

Mary has campaigned for disability rights and equality for more than 40 years.  She remains mystified that since starting her campaign in Scotland, England has two centres which now use MRgFUS. “We have long waiting lists here, folk are waiting to access invasive Deep Brain Stimulation, some are being referred south of the border to receive MRgFUS treatment, at a cost.  It’s madness that the Scottish Government are not seizing the opportunity to provide it on the NHS, a treatment that we have the capability and resources for.

I am thankful that the Committee continues to consider my petition but it would fantastic if they could push the Scottish Government and National Services Division to come forward with more clarity on the decision making process.

In March we have an event in the Scottish Parliament for politicians to come and meet with patients and clinicians.  I hope the Cabinet Secretary for Health will attend to hear, first hand, the massive benefits this can have for people.  Hopefully this will assist them with their decisions making process.  I will continue to campaign for MRgFUS treatment to made available here on the NHS.”

Rhoda Grant, Scottish Labour Highlands and Islands MSP has been supporting Mary with her petition. “I am disappointed that we are no further forward but I hope that this will change in the near future.  I have asked the Committee to write to both the Scottish Government and National Services Division asking for an update.

This would be a brilliant opportunity for the NHS in Scotland to roll out a treatment that would not only benefit so many but provide opportunities for world renowned research into many areas.  I hope that the Mr Yusuf will see the light after the event in March and pave the way for more formative and positive action.”