Monday, March 5, 2012

Scottish Labour Fringe Meeting

SHA Scotland was on the fringe at last weekend's Scottish Labour Party conference in Dundee. 'Health policy - where next?' was sponsored by UNISON Scotland.

UNISON's Gordon McKay chaired the well attended meeting and opened by referring to the Progress journal's implied support for the English health reforms and marketisation of the NHS. Some 'comrades' clearly have lost the plot! He contrasted this with SHA Scotland's new policy journal Healthier Scotland.

Dr David Conway kicked off the debate with SHA Scotland's principles and his analysis of where we needed to take the debate.  He welcomed the level of political consensus in Scotland around health inequalities but recognised that we have huge health challenges to address and that requires new thinking on how to address them.

Shadow Health Secretary Jackie Baillie MSP debunked the myth that NHS Scotland was somehow protected from cuts - £319m was being cut. But her main message was that the agenda for Scottish Labour is wider than simply healthcare. We need to relentlessly focus on life chances for the youngest children. 

There were many excellent contributions from the floor. In particular a lot of debate around social care integration in Scotland.  Including concerns that the Change Fund is being used to privatise not integrate care services. The Highland pilot in particular is heading for disaster according to more than one contribution.

Good debate as ever from a knowledgeable audience. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for organising this fringe. Best discussion on health policy I have been at for some time.