At Ran­dom

The Oban Times - - Districts - MARTIN LAING mlaing@oban­times.co.uk

Pro­tect our health ser­vice pro­vi­sion

THE SALAMI slic­ing of hos­pi­tal ser­vices in Oban has got to stop.

There is a steady, re­lent­less trend that is see­ing the su­perb Lorn and Is­lands Hos­pi­tal in the town be­ing di­min­ished.

The lat­est ser­vice to be trans­ferred to Glas­gow and Pais­ley is the urol­ogy depart­ment. Pa­tients re­quir­ing to see a con­sul­tant in that specialism now face an ar­du­ous and ex­pen­sive round trip, some­times for an ap­point­ment that lasts just a few min­utes.

This prob­lem is thrown into even sharper re­lief for those res­i­dents of our many is­lands who sim­ply can­not make a 9am ap­point­ment and have to travel down the day be­fore and stay overnight.

At a time when there is a ma­jor ef­fort to re­verse de­pop­u­la­tion of the High­lands and Is­lands, it is cru­cial we have prop­erly re­sourced es­sen­tial ser­vices here.

If we want to at­tract in­ward mi­gra­tion to the High­lands and Is­lands - let alone per­suad­ing peo­ple who are al­ready here to stay - pro­vid­ing good health­care is vi­tal.

We pay the same taxes as any­one in the cen­tral belt or other towns and cities, so we should be granted the same con­sid­er­a­tion and treat­ment.

As we said in our ed­i­to­rial com­ment last week: ‘If there are diffi- cul­ties with hir­ing con­sul­tants, the so­lu­tion should not be to aban­don the at­tempt. Peo­ple in Ar­gyll and the Isles de­serve bet­ter.’

Let’s get be­hind Oban Ca­manachd

THIS Satur­day sees one of the high­lights of the shinty sea­son with the fi­nal of the Gre­gor Cameron Glas­gow Celtic So­ci­ety Cup.

Oban Ca­manachd will be tak­ing on Kyles Ath­letic at Taynuilt Sports Field in the 113th fi­nal.

The Oban boys face a stiff chal­lenge as Kyles are the hold­ers and will go­ing for five in a row. Ca­manachd last won the cup in 2005, though they came close a cou­ple of years ago, los­ing out to Kyles in the fi­nal.

Why not roll along to Taynuilt and cheer on the boys? It all starts at 4pm.

Lux­ury liner sails into Oban Bay

OBAN Bay will be graced this week­end by the ar­rival of a ma­jor cruise liner, the Star Pride.

The lux­ury ship will be call­ing at Oban on Satur­day as part of what its par­ent com­pany, Wind­star, calls its Gaelic Ex­plor­ers cruise. This par­tic­u­lar jaunt car­ries pas­sen­ges from Ed­in­burgh to Dublin, with vis­its to, among other ports, Kirk­wall and Portree.

It should make a fab­u­lous sight an­chored in the bay.

For those who like their in­for­ma­tion to be de­tailed, the Star

Pride car­ries 212 ‘ guests’ - the com­pany’s word, not mine - in 106 suites. She has six ‘ guest decks’ ser­viced by a crew of 151. The

Star Pride is reg­is­tered in the Ba­hamas, though Wind­star Cruises is head­quar­tered in Seat­tle in the United States. The liner is 440 feet (134 me­tres) in length, has a beam of 63 feet (19 me­tres) and a draft of 16.5 feet (five me­tres). She dis­places 9,975 gross reg­is­tered tons and is driven by four Ber­gen marine diesel en­gines which give her a cruis­ing speed of 15 knots.

Her pas­sen­gers will be keen to spend their hard- earned - or in­her­ited - cash in our econ­omy, so let’s make them wel­come.

Bril­liant Tiree Trainspotting video

THERE is a bit of video filmed on Tiree that has gone vi­ral... and quite right too. The video is a pas­tiche of the Trainspotting scene where Ren­ton and his chums are flee­ing the ‘po­lis’.

I won’t give any­thing away but it’s a must-see. Go to https:// vimeo.com/220545492 What do you think? Write to me at The Oban Times, Crannog Lane, Oban, PA34 4 HB, or by email to mlaing@ oban­times.co.uk.

The Star Pride will be call­ing at Oban this week­end.

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