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The new Belford hospital in Fort William will continue to be a rural general hospital, the Scottish Government has confirmed.
Lochaber MSP Kate Forbes raised the issue in the Scottish Parliament chamber earlier today (June 29).
The need to replace the existing hospital building in Fort William has become more pressing following the expansion of the Lochaber smelter – with the expectation of up to 1,000 new jobs – as well as an increase in new homes in the area.
Speaking afterwards, Kate Forbes MSP said: ‘I’m very pleased to secure the assurances of Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Health, that she is keen to press ahead with the new Belford, that care services will be enhanced where possible and that the hospital will continue as a Rural General Hospital.
‘This is key to recruiting the best doctors and nurses to the hospital who can then provide the best care to people in Lochaber.
‘Good, reliable and local healthcare is really the fundamental cornerstone of society.’
The Lochaber MSP added: ‘We have a fantastic opportunity to get even better healthcare in Lochaber, with the SNP Government’s promise to build a new hospital.’