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Holyrood pressured on health boards


3 April, 2008  

The Scottish Government has been warned not to “backtrack” on plans to introduce elections for health boards.

Backbench Labour MSP Bill Butler stepped up the pressure on the Government following the end of the consultation process on the local healthcare Bill.

He previously brought forward a Member’s Bill at Holyrood which was voted down by MSPs, despite winning the support of the SNP in opposition.

The Glasgow Anniesland MSP now wants a Bill brought before Parliament which would see a simple majority of all health board members elected.

Mr Butler said: “If the SNP comes forward with a Bill which tries to create anything less than a system where a majority of health board members are directly elected then it will be a betrayal.

“People in communities throughout Scotland have expressed their anger and concern over many decisions to change local NHS services.

“If the SNP backtracks and opts for a system of elections where only a minority of board members are elected, then local communities will remain, in effect, powerless with regard to decisions that affect their local NHS.”

Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said there was a “strong case” for having a majority of members elected when she launched the consultation three months ago.

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