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MSP backs northern medical school proposal

Highlands and Islands MSP, Jamie Halcro Johnston.

Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston believes that proposals for a new medical school based in Inverness could improve staffing issues affecting island health boards.

The facility, proposed by the Scottish Conservative Party, would be co-located with the city’s Centre for Health Science, providing an additional 150 training places for new doctors in the north of the country.

This proposal comes in response to the extensive use of locums and agency staff in the region’s NHS boards, as well as chronic staffing shortages.

Mr Halcro Johnston said: “For some time now, there has been a real staffing crisis across the NHS boards in the Highlands and Islands, which has had a considerable impact on patient care.

“We have seen waiting targets missed and important units in local hospitals across the region downgraded or, even worse, closed entirely. But despite the growing impact of this crisis, there has been little meaningful action from the Scottish Government.

“One strand of attracting talented doctors to the region will be ensuring that our medical schools are better linked to our communities. A medical school located within the Highlands and Islands has the potential to attract larger numbers of doctors to study here and then, when they’re qualified, to encourage them to stay and work in our region.”

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