ELECTION 2021: Prevention as well as cure best medicine for NHS, says McHutchon
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POLITICAL comment on the NHS so often collapses into a competition to see who is going to spend the most or recruit the most doctors and nurses, rather than a serious conversation about what Scotland should do to improve public health, says David McHutchon, Restore Scotland's Banffshire and Buchan Coast candidate.
There is an inability to stand back and look at the big picture.
Scottish life expectancy, perhaps the best overall measure of the health of our people, is the lowest in Western Europe, and the gap between Scotland and other Western European countries is growing.
Shockingly, in 2017, parts of Banffshire and Buchan Coast had lower male life expectancy than Syria today. Suicides and drug deaths have been skyrocketing, and Scotland is facing an obesity crisis.
The approach of Restore Scotland would be radically different. We believe that deprivation lies at the heart of many of our public health issues. The reasons – poor diet, alcoholism and substance misuse – are in many cases connected to a lack of purpose, family cohesion, and economic opportunity.
Scotland’s fishing waters should be for the exclusive use of our fishing fleet: that should be non-negotiable. We should also diversify our economic base away from services and restore our manufacturing and light industrial sectors, if necessary, with state aid.
And as for the NHS, to ensure that it has a future, it must be funded sustainably out of current tax revenues, and not borrowing against the credit of future generations. We support the principle of an NHS free at the point of need, with infrastructure that facilitates access for those in both urban and rural areas.