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MSP Gillian Martin welcomes assurances for nursing recruitment to rural areas like Aberdeenshire

By Kirsty Brown

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Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin has welcomed assurances from the Cabinet Secretary for Health on increasing numbers of nurses to rural areas.

It comes after Ms Martin asked the Health Secretary Humza Yousaf what steps were being taken to attract more people into both nursing and midwifery.

During the SNP’s time in government qualified nurses and midwives have increased by more than 5,000.

Since last October almost 200 registered nurses from overseas have also been recruited.

Mr Yousaf confirmed there was additional financial support for those studying nursing and midwifery as well as not having to pay tuition fees.

The Cabinet Secretary said: “International recruitment also has a key part to play in attracting people to remote, rural and island parts of Scotland.

"I have mentioned that we have recruited almost 200 registered nurses internationally, and that we have another 200 in the pipeline.

“I am working very closely with rural health boards to ensure that there is not just recruitment to the central belt, but that recruitment is evenly and widely distributed throughout Scotland.”

Commenting, MSP Gillian Martin said: “I am pleased the Health Secretary was able to provide detail of the work being done by the NHS to actively recruit more nurses and midwives into the sector particularly in rural areas.

“As the MSP for a rural constituency I know how important it is to ensure more staff can be recruited to come and work in areas which are not as urban.

“Nurses and midwives are the backbone of the NHS and they’ve had an incredibly challenging period working throughout the pandemic.

"I welcome any assistance being provided to support recruitment of more staff to work in the healthcare sector.”

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