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Caithness News Bulletins July 2004
UHI Can Help Transform Rural Health Services
NORTH MSP Mary Scanlon said she hopes the qualifications on rural health studies will help ease the burden on a struggling health service in the Highlands and Islands.
The Scottish Conservative communities’ spokesman wrote to the UHI Millennium Institute to ask whether it had any plans to develop a rural healthcare facility, in light of the health minister confirming to Mary that it is up to organisations such as UHI to develop.
The UHI Millennium Institute’s response stated: “Meeting the educational and training needs of health care professionals in the Highlands and Islands is a top priority for us. Shortly we will be advertising a chair in remote and rural health care (funded by the Western Isles health Board) and a chair in health sciences (funded by Inverness Medical).
UHI currently offers a certificate, diploma and degree in rural health studies; a diploma and masters degree in infection control; and the programme in the care of the acutely ill.
She said: The threats of downgrading our hospital services in Fort William and Wick on top of the out-of-hours and consultant contract problems pose very serious problems for access to care and treatment for the Highlands and Islands.
“I welcome the professorship in rural health care and hope that this will focus attention on, and find answers to, the huge challenges currently facing NHS Highlands and the Islands.”