The Scottish government has welcomed a review of local services which sets out recommendations for patient care at rural hospitals.
A study setting out services patients can expect from their hospitals in rural areas has been sent to ministers, according to reports.
The document follows recommendations made by a working group which was set up by the then Scottish Executive in 2005.
A Scottish government spokeswoman said the report from the remote and rural steering group presented “a model of safe and sustainable services” for patients living in rural areas.
In particular it welcomed the emphasis the report placed on ensuring “a robust system of delivering healthcare services as locally as possible,” she said.
The report is believed to recommend training programmes to prepare surgeons and anaesthetists for the demands of working in the hospitals.
It also suggests that staff could be hired up to a year in advance so their skills can be matched to the role they will fulfil.
And it is said to recommend that rural hospitals employ at least three consultant surgeons, a three-strong anaesthetic team, and three medical specialists.
The Scottish government spokeswoman said: “We plan to take forward recommendations outlined in this report as part of a commitment laid out in our Better Health, Better Care discussion document.”
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