Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has accused the SNP Government of dragging its feet over the establishment of a new specialist centre for Parkinson’s after it was announced its opening is six months behind schedule.
In response to a written parliamentary question, the Health Secretary confirmed the new Scottish Centre for Deep Brain Stimulation will now open in Spring 2017 instead of Autumn 2016.
Since 2013, people with severe neurological conditions who live in the west of Scotland are able to undergo specialist brain surgery to tackle conditions such as Parkinson’s in Glasgow. However, people living in the North and East of Scotland currently have to travel hundreds of miles to England for treatment of symptoms for conditions such as Parkinson’s.
Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
“In a letter to Parkinson’s UK, the Cabinet Secretary for Health promised that a Scotland-wide centre for Deep Brain Stimulation would be open by Autumn 2016. Now we learn it won’t be established until Spring 2017 and it isn’t clear when it will be ready to receive patients.
“Medical experts up and down the country have been pleading with the Cabinet Secretary to see this as a priority for Scotland but true to form the SNP continue to drag their feet.
“It’s not acceptable that a patient with complex health care needs should have to put up with the stress of travelling long distances for pre-operative assessment, the surgical procedure itself and multiple follow-up appointments. The SNP must commit to a date and stick to it and not pass this off as a second rate problem. It needs fixed now.”