Joint ef­fort needed in hos­pi­tal bat­tle

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - Advertiser View -

Dear Ed­i­tor, Hav­ing read the of­fer­ing from Janet Gor­don [Ad­ver­tiser View, Septem­ber 26], I felt bound to re­ply to set straight the in­ac­cu­ra­cies of her com­ments.

To clar­ify, I am not an SNP sup­porter, I just want the best hos­pi­tal for the peo­ple of this area.

First, Richard Leonard and his fel­low Labour elected mem­bers were con­tacted by Neil Gray MP and Alex Neil MSP the week prior to Au­gust 13, to ask them to join forces on that date to launch a joint cam­paign against NHS La­nark­shire’s pro­posed Gart­cosh move.

Mr Leonard did not re­ply, in­stead he started his own pe­ti­tion the day be­fore the cam­paign launch date in a bid to get first shot at any pub­lic­ity.

Rather than join­ing forces and pre­sent­ing a united front, as Messers Gray and Neil had hoped, Labour de­cided to go it alone.

While keep­ing the hos­pi­tal where it is would be a great out­come, the SNP ap­pear re­al­is­tic enough to know that to have a state-of-the-art fa­cil­ity, which whilst be­ing built will not have any im­pact on pa­tients or staff, it may be nec­es­sary to look at other sites such as Glen­mavis – hence the “keep Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal Mon­k­lands in cen­tral Mon­k­lands” slo­gan.

Sec­ond, if Labour are “the only peo­ple fight­ing for [the] hos­pi­tal”, how come Mr Leonard and his cronies did not speak up at the pub­lic meet­ings in Air­drie town hall?

Mr Gray and Mr Neil at­tended both ses­sions and, what­ever your po­lit­i­cal per­sua­sions, you could not doubt that they spoke with pas­sion, put for­ward many well-rea­soned ar­gu­ments and of­fered fac­tual op­po­si­tion to NHS La­nark­shire’s con­sul­ta­tion de­tails.

SNP and Labour are united in the view that Gart­cosh is a non-starter as far as Mon­k­lands folk are con­cerned, so let’s put this po­lit­i­cal point-scor­ing aside and fo­cus on the need for a new hos­pi­tal and the fight to change the health board’s mind.

Mrs E McCal­lum, via email

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