Speak up now or Oban hos­pi­tal ser­vices will be lost, says coun­cil

The Oban Times - - News - LOUISE GLEN lglen@oban­times.co.uk

SPEAK now or hos­pi­tal ser­vices in Oban may be lost to Fort , that was the mes­sage at Oban com­mu­nity coun­cil.

Aris­ing out of news that Fort Wil­liam was likely to get a pur­pose-built hos­pi­tal in the next few years coun­cil­lor Dun­can MacIn­tyre said it was time to con­sider where the hos­pi­tal in Oban was go­ing and what ser­vices would be pro­vided.

Last week’s meet­ing heard coun­cil­lor Dun­can MacIn­tyre ar­gue that the two ar­eas must work to­gether.

‘Re­cruit­ing spe­cial­ist staff is dif­fi­cult in ru­ral hos­pi­tals. But most con­sul­tants are avail­able to peo­ple.

‘Fewer spe­cial­ists are com­ing onto the job mar­ket mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to re­cruit staff.

‘ With­out doubt the prob­lem is the NHS does not have the staff or skilled peo­ple.

‘If we go back a few years there was the op­por­tu­nity to build a new hos­pi­tal at Bal­lachul­ish.

‘They may well be look­ing at a new hos­pi­tal in Fort Wil­liam.

‘Oban and Belford need to knock heads to­gether to get the best for both ar­eas.

‘We have to be sen­si­ble and say what is best for the West High­lands we need to make sure we have the work for them to do.’

Dun­can Martin, a com­mu­nity coun­cil­lor, agreed: ‘ We will have a sin­gle team work­ing for both hos­pi­tals. Ev­ery­one wants new ser­vices.’

Com­mu­nity coun­cil chair­woman Marri Mal­loy said: ‘I high­lighted this prob­lem two years ago.

‘Our hos­pi­tal is un­der threat. My job here on the com­mu­nity coun­cil is to make sure our hos­pi­tal stays staffed and stays open.’

Com­mu­nity coun­cil­lor Ge­orge Berry said: ‘There is no cost to some­one’s health.

‘If all the money to be spent on nu­clear bud­gets was spent on the NHS then it would be able to meet ev­ery­one’s needs.’

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