Open and honest debate needed on health services

Monday 25th January 2016


The huge strain being placed on our National Health Service is reported almost daily.

Stories about packed hospital wards, staff being worked to the point of exhaustion and health boards getting into financial difficulty have all become part and parcel of the news cycle.

The reasons for this have been well documented with the main contributing factors being the increasing elderly population and the costs brought about by new medical procedures and medicines.

It is disappointing, although not surprising that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are now discussing the need to make over £60m worth of savings putting a big question mark over local services at Inverclyde Royal.

When the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited Inverclyde as recently as November she publicly dismissed concerns about the centralisation of services, suggesting if that were to be the case there would be a full public consultation.

However, despite this promise there has been no discussion with local communities. Instead, it appears that all the decisions are being put off until after the election.

It is wholly unacceptable that decisions which may have a detrimental impact on the delivery of local health services are being made behind closed doors.

It is time for an open and honest debate about the future of local health services. The people of Inverclyde must have their voices heard in this debate.