Scotland’s Health Secretary has given an assurance the accident and emergency department at Perth Royal Infirmary (PRI) will remain open following concerns it may have to close its doors due to financial pressure.
Shona Robison has confirmed the department will continue accepting patients despite under fire NHS Tayside body facing serious money problems.
The SNP politician made the promise to Murdo Fraser, Scottish Conservative MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, at Holyrood.
NHS Tayside officials have been told to make efficiency savings as a result of mounting debts with the embattled health board already £33 million in the red.
A motion put forward by the Scottish Conservatives calling for the monthly release of financial accounts following the endowment funding scandal at NHS Tayside was approved by the Scottish Government.
Mr Fraser said: “Shona Robison has effectively narrowed down the number of areas that could be cut to service debt at Tayside – we need to know where the axe will fall.
“We all know that the health board is in deep financial trouble and at some point these brokerage loans will have to be repaid. However, this can’t be at the cost of services at PRI or wider patient care.”
He continued: ““I welcome the Health Minister’s announcement that A & E services at PRI are to be retained, but savings will have to be made elsewhere.”
Ms Robinson said it had “been made clear” that accident and emergency services will continue at PRI.
Professor Andrew Russell, NHS Tayside medical director, confirmed the A&E will remain.
He said: “NHS Tayside would like to reassure communities in Perth and Kinross that we are absolutely committed to continuing to provide a wide range of services at Perth Royal Infirmary (PRI). The hospital is a vital site for NHS Tayside.
“Over the next few months, as part of the next stage of our integrated clinical strategy, we are developing plans to take to the board which will outline a number of potential service delivery models for health services across Tayside. The emergency department at PRI will be one of the services being looked at as part of these plans.
“NHS Tayside’s key priority is the continuing delivery of high-quality, safe and effective person-centred care and any scenarios developed would adhere to this, and would also fully consider the available workforce resources and financial feasibility.”