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Inverness health campaigner wins support of MSPs on Scottish Parliament committee

By Andrew Dixon

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Rhoda with Mrs Ramsay.
Rhoda with Mrs Ramsay.

MSPs on the Scottish Parliament’s public petitions committee have agreed to hear evidence from a leading consultant neurosurgeon to support an Inverness campaigner’s petition.

Mary Ramsay, from Dalneigh, chairwoman of the Scottish Tremor Society, is asking the Scottish Government to back the provision of magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) equipment costing an estimated £1.6 million.

Her MSP, Labour’s Rhoda Grant, spoke to the cross-party committee asking for the petition to be kept open and highlighting that campaigners were keen that the committee hear oral evidence from Professor Dipankar Nandi, a leading medical expert in the field, and also view a short video of a patient’s experience of the treatment.

Committee convener, Johann Lamont MSP, said there was a consensus that there was still an issue to be followed up and the committee would seek to hear from the Professor, if not in person but by some other means.

Mrs Ramsay, who watched the virtual session from home on parliamentary television, said afterwards she was in tears at some of the emotional statements from MSPs.

“I’m absolutely delighted that the petition is remaining open and that they are going to hear from the professor. I am also hopeful that they will see the video on Geoff Sleight the patient who has benefited from the treatment.

“It’s quite remarkable the difference it has made to his life.

“I will not give up until this is available on the NHS.”

During the committee session, Mrs Grant said there was a definite sense of frustration that the technology was not yet available in Scotland but was in England.

She said the government was aware that clinicians in Dundee were exploring the purchase of equipment and there were discussions are ongoing with NHS Scotland.

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