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Challenge over delays to Highlands' elective care centre

By Tom Ramage

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Highlands and Islands MSP, Edward Mountain today (Thursday, December 5) challenged the First Minister on the SNP Government’s construction delays to the Elective Care Centre for the North of Scotland, based in Inverness.

Highland MSP's challenge to First Minister
Highland MSP's challenge to First Minister

During a session of First Minister’s Questions, Edward Mountain MSP asked: “First Minister in 2015 I welcomed your Government’s announcement of a much needed £16m facility in Inverness.

"Work was due to start this summer and was then delayed till then end of 2019 with a price tag that has more than doubled.

"I wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Health seven weeks ago asking about this facility and despite two chasing emails have yet to receive a response.

"Given that orthopaedic waiting times in the Highlands now exceed 78 weeks, I and my constituents would like to know when work will start on the Elective Care Centre for the North of Scotland and when it will be operational?”

The First Minister replied: “Well I understand the Health Secretary has written to the Member but if he hasn’t received that then I am happy to look into that to make sure that letter arrives with him.

"We are delivering a number of elective treatment centres across the country as part of our waiting times improvement plan to make sure that we are building the capacity to ensure that the rising demands of the NHS can be met. And I will make sure the member gets the response from the Health Secretary as quickly as possible.”

Afterwards Mr Mountain commented: “No answer from the First Minister today and no letter from the Health Secretary either.

"So we are no further forward to knowing when or if the Elective Care Centre is going ahead.

"It is crucial that work begins on the Elective Care Centre as soon as possible and I will continue to press the SNP Government for answers.”

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