Dumfriesshire MSP Oliver Mundell has accused the SNP’s Health Secretary of dodging questions over the future of specialists in the region.
Mr Mundell has challenged Shona Robison MSP over what the Scottish Government are doing to ensure the future of existing specialists working in the NHS across Dumfries and Galloway.
However, Mr Mundell was left unimpressed by her answer which spoke more of a national picture and did not address the fact that one in five consultant posts in Dumfries and Galloway are currently lying empty.
Commenting Oliver Mundell MSP said: “The Health Secretary has completely dodged questions over the future of essential specialists working in our NHS locally and confirmed fears services may be cut or reviewed in the near future.
“It will come of little comfort to staff and people in the region that consultant posts across Scotland have gone up by 45%, when one in five consultant posts in Dumfries and Galloway are currently lying vacant, a situation the First Minister already claims to take responsibility for.
“The Health Secretary needs to stop burying her head in the sand and stop leaving our hard working frontline NHS staff to pick up the pieces.
"The SNP Government have known for a long time about the problems in recruiting specialists to rural communities, but we still see a real lack of action in delivering enough consultants for patients across Dumfries and Galloway.”