SNP slam Labour comments on health board elections

SNP MSP for the South of Scotland Dr Aileen McLeod has highlighted what she has termed Labour’s “breath-taking hypocrisy” over recent comments on local elected health boards.

Following the Scottish Government’s decision not to proceed with elected health boards across Scotland upon evaluation of pilot elections in Fife and Dumfries and Galloway, Labour politicians spoke out that the scheme was doomed from the start.

But Dr McLeod said:“If Elaine Murray has always been so opposed to elected Health Boards, I have to ask why she supported the Health Boards (Membership and Elections) (Scotland) Bill when it was approved in Parliament unanimously on 12th March 2009. In fact, she can’t even blame an SNP majority, since it was during the time of the minority SNP Government.

“This is breath-taking hypocrisy. Elaine Murray supported the legislation that set up the pilots to examine the best way to engage communities and patients in the running of their health boards. The Scottish Government evaluated the pilots, as it promised, and concluded that rather than spend £12m rolling out the elections across Scotland there were alternative ways which were better for engaging people and for the money to be invested instead on frontline NHS services.

“Communities and patients should have a voice in the running of health boards so I am particularly surprised that Elaine Murray doesn’t seem to think that’s important. Sooner or later the Labour Party is going to realise that you can’t vote one way at Holyrood and say something else here in Dumfries & Galloway.”