Wed 20 Jan, 2016

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Alison Johnstone, Lothian MSP and Scottish Green Party spokesperson on Health, Wellbeing and Sport, has today welcomed the Chief Medical Officer's Annual Report, which calls for treatment decisions to be more focused on individuals needs.

The report from Dr Catherine Calderwood urges medical professionals to better involve patients in treatment decisions. The report also highlights the need to include prevention in care-packages, and to extend health care into communities.

Johnstone said that involving patients in treatment decisions and supporting people to adopt healthier habits is vital, but urged the Scottish Government to recognise that tackling the inequalities causing ill health should be a priority.

Johnstone also welcomed Dr Calderwood's recognition of the the important role trainee medics play in the future of the NHS.

Alison said on treatment decisions:

"Improving the quality of life for patients ought to be at the heart of the health service, and I'm please to see the Chief Medical Officer highlight the importance of tailoring treatment decisions to fit the needs of each individual as well as to support people who want to adopt healthier habits.

"We absolutely need an NHS that can take care of illness when it occurs, but preventing ill health should be on the top of our priority list. While it's crucial that doctors are able to support patients to have healthier lifestyles, Scotland's poor living standards and huge health inequalities are not just solved within our hospitals and GP practices.

"The Scottish Greens believe that to improve our nation's health, we need to tackle low pay that's pushing people into poverty, spend more on walking, cycling and public transport, and invest in warm homes. I hope the Scottish Government listens to doctors and patients, and makes raising living standards and tackling inequality the number one health concern."

On medical trainees:

“Like so many others, I’ve been watching the struggle of junior doctors down south in dismay. It’s disgraceful that young doctors who form the future of our revered health service are stretched so thin, and I’m delighted to see the Chief Medical Officer emphasise the important role medical trainees play in our health service here in Scotland.

“At a time when budgets are being tightened and pressure to make cuts to this vital service is high, we should be listening to the needs and views of our NHS staff more carefully than ever before.”

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