Date Published: 29 June 2009

BMA Scotland celebrates 10 years of devolution

Health News from the United Kingdom (UK).

Legislation to create smokefree public places has been named as the most important policy implemented by the Scottish Parliament in the 10 years since devolution, according to a survey of Scottish doctors conducted by BMA Scotland.

The results of the survey mark the publication of a new BMA Scotland newsletter today (Monday 29 June) to celebrate 10 years of devolution and the creation of policy making powers for health in Scotland.

Also featuring in the most popular policies to be implemented in Scotland were: ending the internal market in healthcare where GPs and hospitals compete to provide services, introducing free personal care and fee free education.

Dr Peter Terry, chairman of the BMA in Scotland, said:

?As someone who was initially sceptical of devolution, I am now a convert. The Scottish Parliament has grown in maturity and has shown great leadership to progress public health policy and to implement legislation that is tailored to the needs of the Scottish population.

However, there is still some way to go to tackle the significant challenges of health inequalities in Scotland ? it is not acceptable that people living in the most deprived communities in Scotland have a life expectancy of some 10 years less than those in the more affluent areas of our country

The next 10 years of devolution will present significant challenges for the NHS. With a squeeze in public sector funding, governments will be less able to introduce populist policies and the focus will need to be firmly placed on the implementation of evidence based policies with a proven benefit for health.

The next ten years will present significant challenges for the Scottish Parliament as we enter a period of recession. It will become essential for politicians from all parties to work with health professionals to develop policies that are practical and implementable and most of all, that will have a positive impact on patient care.?

The newsletter also features a comment piece from Dr John Garner, Chairman of BMA Scotland from 1999 ? 2004 where he reflects on the hopes of doctors when the Scottish Parliament was first established and highlighting landmark legislation passed in the first term, including Adults with Incapacity Act and the Mental Health Act ? both which led the way in the UK.

Dr Peter Terry, current chairman of the BMA in Scotland defines the evolution of health policy and the divergence between the four countries of the UK ? criticising the commercial, market driven approach being adopted in England.


Source: British Medical Association.

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