Pressure is mounting on the Scottish Government to ensure a fit for purpose health provision in the north of Skye.
The local health board’s decision to base a brand new hospital for Skye and Lochalsh in Broadford rather than Portree was met with widespread opposition – and construction of the facility is still several years away.
NHS Highland is facing unprecedented budgetary pressures to plug a £100million black hole, including a 7% budget cut for 2017-18 of £47million, as well as ongoing recruitment problems across rural parts of the Highlands.
Skye SNP MSP Kate Forbes voiced her concerns about the staffing situation on Skye directly to Ms Robison on Tuesday, and Edward Mountain, a Conservative MSP, has also written to the cabinet secretary.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman responded to the current situation yesterday by stating: “We have been clear with the board that we expect Skye to receive a high quality health service that meets the needs of the Island.
“NHS Highland have sought to assure us that these arrangements are a temporary measure, that will be addressed as soon as possible, and they are working hard to have out of hours cover in place from Thursday.
“This year, our investment has seen NHS Highland’s budget increase by 5% to £577.5 million – an above inflation increase. And just last month we set out our plan to support and strengthen NHS Scotland’s workforce, with specific measures to ensure the future sustainability of the remote and rural workforce.”