Alex Neil has been told to stop “pussyfooting” and turn his words on dementia into action by backing Frank’s Law.
Scotland’s Heath Secretary became the first European minister to sign the Glasgow Declaration, a Europe-wide commitment to placing the human rights of people with the illness at the heart of delivering care, information and support.
Dundee United legend Frank Kopel died in April having been diagnosed with vascular dementia and alzheimer’s six years ago, when he was aged just 59, and his wife Amanda accused the Scottish Government of dragging their heels on reforms.
Amanda, from Kirriemuir, has long campaigned for a roll-out of free personal care to under 65s with debilitating illnesses.
It emerged in August that a joint review by the Scottish Government and Cosla into how many people have fallen through the cracks will not be completed until next year.
Amanda said: “It is a step in the right direction but it isn’t giving us a reply. He could have actually come out and said yay or nay but he hasn’t.
“They are pussyfooting around. It has been more than a year since I brought forward my petition.”
She added: “What age group is this talking about? It is right across the board? Just now it is discrimination. The majority of people under 65, and I hate to say this, will be dead before their 65th birthday.”
The declaration was launched by Alzheimer Europe at their Dignity and Autonomy in Dementia conference in Glasgow.
It calls on governments, MEPs and the European Commission to recognise and act upon priorities, such as timely diagnosis, quality support, and person centred care.
Mr Neil said: “I’m delighted to sign Alzheimer Europe’s Glasgow Declaration, which affirms the principles that we follow in Scotland: that people have the right to a timely diagnosis and high quality care, treatment and support.
“Scotland is leading the way in its approach to providing post-diagnostic support for people with dementia and the Scottish Government, on behalf of the UK, will be taking the lead role in the next phase of joint EU action on dementia, which will launch in Rome next month.”