Shetland MSP Tavish Scott has secured a debate in the Scottish Parliament in an effort to seek answers over the shortage of specialist clinical oncologists in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and the knock-on problems caused for patients in Shetland.
The issue has been repeatedly raised by Mr Scott following complaints that patients from the Northern Isles undergoing cancer treatments were required to be transferred to other parts of the country for treatment.
The MSP has asked NHS Shetland and NHS Grampian for an update on the current position before the parliamentary debate.
Mr Scott said: “I am very pleased to have secured a debate on this vital service for Shetland. So many local people and families are affected by cancer and depend on the specialist staff in Aberdeen for treatment. If that high-quality care for people suffering from cancer is either limited or unavailable within a reasonable distance then solutions have to be found.
“During what can be an extremely distressing time for patients and their families, I know that patients from the Northern Isles have been able to benefit greatly from being able to stay in the Aberdeen CLAN facilities.
“CLAN Haven is particularly valuable for the most difficult periods of the treatment and is a service that is not available if people are transferred to other parts of the country.”
Mr Scott said the debate would be an opportunity to get some much-needed answers on what was being done to resolve this situation. He would particularly welcome anyone who is or had been affected by this situation to get in touch.
He added: “My objective is to highlight the importance of Shetland patients being treated in Aberdeen and using the facilities that the islands have raised so much money to support.”