Days after beginning his new post of running Scotland’s largest health board, the new chief executive of NHS Highland met with Kate Forbes MSP as she kept up the pressure on the campaign for reliable and local healthcare for West Highlanders.
Iain Stewart, who takes over from Elaine Mead who left at the end of 2018, spent an hour with Ms Forbes discussing the ongoing healthcare challenges in Portree, Raasay and Glenelg.
The MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, who has also raised similar issues with the Cabinet Secretary for Health Jeane Freeman, said she was hopeful of positive changes for NHS Highland service provision in her constituency.
Kate Forbes MSP said: “I feel more optimistic than ever before that change is possible in NHS Highland. Some of these issues have been running for several years and, whilst there has definitely been progress, I want the new chief executive to resolve them once and for all.
“I wanted to meet with Iain as soon as he was in the door to try and progress changes. I was really encouraged by my conversation with him. He hails from the Western Isles and so he is no stranger to the importance of reliable healthcare in rural areas, particularly on islands.
“Iain has the opportunity now to write new chapter in NHS Highland’s history, by building new and better relationships with the communities who actually rely on healthcare. That starts with meeting them face to face.
“There are no quick fixes to some of the deep seated challenges, but I know that he is keen to meet people, understand the problems and find solutions. We need to implement the Ritchie Report in full, and the sooner the better.”