New minister urged to heed local issues

Aberdeenshire West MSP Alexander Burnett - urged new minister to heed local issues
Aberdeenshire West MSP Alexander Burnett - urged new minister to heed local issues

A North-east MSP has urged the new Minister for Rural Affairs and Natural Environment to engage with the public on local issues such as GP shortages.

Mairi Gougeon paid a visit to Deeside on Tuesday and Aberdeenshire West’s Alexander Burnett called on her to take on board concerns of local residents.

The visit came amid increasing pressure on local GP services in the area.

NHS Grampian has struggled with a shortage of family doctors, with many local practices taken over by the health board.

There are also concerns about the potential negative impact on medics in rural areas of the new GP contract.

Mr Burnett said: “GP shortages in rural parts of Aberdeenshire West are just one area that requires the attention of this SNP government.

“It is clear that more needs to be done to address pressure on local services.”

The Scottish Conservative MSP added: “A planned ‘golden hello’ last attracted just three doctors for the whole of Grampian, which was a disappointing return for such a high profile campaign.

“NHS Grampian does not get a fair funding deal from Holyrood. It is time that was addressed and it is time that this government took more action to deal with staffing issues in the North-east.”