Health Secretary urged to act on Chapelton

The Cabinet Secretary for health is being urged to recognise the need to provide decent facilities for people in towns with growning populations.

Alison McInnes, MSP for the North-east, was asking during General Questions in the Scottish Parliament.

Mrs McInnes highlighted the fact that there were no confirmed plans to build medical facilities to provide services for the new Chapelton of Elsick development, despite the fact that it could provide up to 8000 homes.

She argued: “Developers have offered a retail unit for the first 800 houses for a GP surgery and will set aside ground for a medical centre as the community grows. But a medical centre would cost millions and it is unclear where this funding would come from.

“Residents, therefore, fear that existing healthcare services, such as Portlethen Medical Centre – already among the busiest in the country with nearly 14,000 patients – could be overwhelmed.

“Given health boards were recently stripped of their powers to allocate capital funding, will the Minister take responsibility and act to ensure that residents in and around Chapelton of Elsick can access high quality health care in the future?”

Cabinet Secretary for Health, Alex Neil MSP, said that Mrs McInnes made “a number of very valid points” and indicated that he would consider any request from NHS Grampian for additional funding once its ongoing discussions with Aberdeenshire Council had concluded.

North Kincardine Liberal Democrat councillor Ian Mollison welcomed the pledge from the health secretary over a medical centre at the new town.

“I am was greatly encouraged to hear Alex Neil say in parliament that he would consider any request from NHS Grampian for additional funding.

‘‘This is a move in the right direction.’’