An inquiry seeking to find out the key issues facing healthcare services in Scotland’s remote and rural areas has been launched by the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee.
The Committee wants to hear from members of the public and staff about their experiences of remote and rural healthcare services. They are keen to find out what specific challenges people in these areas face and what can be done to improve services in these places.
National Records of Scotland data has revealed that the areas with the greatest population growth over the last decade were accessible rural areas. 10.6% more people lived in these areas in mid-2021 than in mid-2011.
Rural areas also tend to have specific demographic challenges when it comes to demand for healthcare, with often a lower proportion of people aged 16 to 44 but a higher proportion of people aged 45 and over (particularly those 65 and above).
Launching the inquiry, Clare Haughey MSP, Convener of the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee, said:
“Scotland’s geography means much of its healthcare is accessed and delivered in remote and rural areas and that’s why the Committee is keen to hear of the specific issues impacting healthcare services in these locales.
“We want to hear the experiences’ of individuals and representatives from remote and rural areas, and from those who work or have worked in remote and rural healthcare, on what they think the particular challenges facing the sector are.
“Our inquiry aims to provide a platform for the views of those in remote and rural areas to be heard and our Committee is keen to hear from as wide a range of organisations and individuals as possible.
“Sharing your views will help the Committee better understand the varied and particular issues facing rural and remote healthcare services and help our scrutiny of the Scottish Government and other key stakeholders in their approach to delivering healthcare in these areas.”
The Committee’s call for views is open now: Healthcare in Remote & Rural Areas (parliament.scot)
The call for views closes on 11 August.