Orkney health chief backs Yes to protect NHS


Nicola Sturgeon’s island tour continued as she welcomed support for a Yes Vote from the Chairman of NHS Orkney today.

John Ross Scott, Chairman of NHS Orkney, has lived in Orkney since 2003. Previously Mr Scott was a councillor in the Borders for 23 years, latterly he was a Lib Dem councillor for Hawick on Borders Regional Council and Scottish Borders Council where he was Council Leader.

John Ross Scott’s endorsement follows a week in which campaigners joined Alex Neil MSP at a public meeting to highlight the need to vote Yes to protect our NHS.

Speaking in a personal capacity, Mr Scott said:

“I’ve been on a 40-year quest for devolution and having seen the benefits of devolved powers to Scotland come to fruition and prove so successful, independence is the next step. But the journey won’t end there.

“The Scottish Government’s track record of investment in health – and not being sucked into the creeping privatisation agenda of health care south of the border – highlight exactly why the future of the NHS in Scotland can only be secured with a Yes vote.

“We need to devolve powers under an independent Scotland back to communities and I am extremely optimistic about the prospects for a Yes vote in the referendum next month.”

Arriving in Kirkwall, Ms Sturgeon said Mr Scott’s comments were a “fabulous endorsement.”

She said:

“People across Scotland – including here in Kirkwall, Orkney – are waking up to the fact that a Yes vote will give us one opportunity to ensure that we protect our NHS. And by enshrining it in our constitution, we will keep it in public hands forever.

“Scotland’s budget has already been subject to Westminster cuts and Labour Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has warned that the NHS south of the Border will be pushed ‘off the cliff edge’ by Tory privatisation and cuts.
“The ‘No’ parties denial of the risks we are facing would see us sleepwalking into cuts in the event of a No vote. This is a risk we absolutely cannot take. We must vote Yes to protect our NHS for future generations of people here in Orkney and across Scotland.”