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On the subject of the ongoing arguments about the new hospital in Broadford, I know Portree is hoping to retain some facilities, but I feel that criticising the new hospital is not the way forward.
If there is a lack of funding, it should go to Broadford, where services can then be co-ordinated across the island.
Interestingly, I found this letter, written by my father Dr Neil MacLeod, on May 25, 1958.
‘We have had some fun and excitement over the site of the proposed new hospital for Skye as you may have observed from various press reports.
We had our local meeting here on Thursday night and we left the department of health in Edinburgh in no doubt whatsoever as to what we wanted and what we intended to do if there was any question of closing down of Broadford Hospital and building one in Portree.
There was a meeting in Kyle the following night, which Iain Campbell and I attended as observers, and the Wester Ross people backed up the Broadford scheme unequivocally.
So now we wait until in some weeks’ time a final decision is given by Edinburgh.’
It just goes to show that the troubles over the hospital have not lessened in all the years since.
Una MacLeod, Sleat, Isle of Skye
Young people and mental health
Resourcing mental health treatment for young people has never been more important after new statistics from Public Health Scotland indicated that 161 young people in the NHS Highland area sought treatment between January and March 2021.
Sadly, the pandemic and lockdown restrictions have taken a toll on the mental well-being of many young people across the country including here in the Highlands and Islands.
We should remember that the consequences of this can be long-lasting. As the report notes, the majority of adult mental health problems begin in childhood with 50 per cent of mental health problems established by age 14.
This is a reason why my party will continue to push for 10 per cent of the health budget in Scotland to be spent directly on tackling mental health issues.
Although NHS Highland’s waiting time track record is better than the Scottish average, with 75.2 per cent people seen within 18 weeks, that is still well below the Scottish
Government’s target of at least 90 per cent of patients being seen within that timeframe.
It has never been more important to ensure that young people receive the help they need, when they need it.
Donald Cameron, Highlands and Islands MSP.