Rhoda Grant, MSP for the Highlands and Islands, has called for urgent action by the Scottish Government to help NHS Highland provide the same level of obstetric ultrasound service that is available in other parts of Scotland.
Currently, no ultrasound scanning is available in Argyll and Bute with women having to travel to the hospitals in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area.
“Once again,” said Ms Grant, “the Scottish Government is allowing the crumbling of the health service to continue in the Highlands and Islands. They consistently fail to take into account the special circumstances of the area caused by its size and scattered population. This is being shown, once again, by the difficulties faced by NHS Highland in providing the same obstetric ultrasound service available elsewhere.”
“This is not caused by NHS Highland,“ continued Ms Grant, “but by the difficulties in filling posts as vacancies arise, despite advertising both nationally and internationally.
“Simply identifying the problem is not enough. I want to know what the Scottish Government are doing to face up to their responsibilities and ensure an adequate service is provided across the whole of the Highlands and Islands.
“I shall be calling on the Scottish Government this and asking for them to investigate, without delay, alternative ways to deliver a proper service. This will include looking at a mobile ultrasound scanning unit that would be able to provide the service without the need for women to travel large distances.”