NHS 'Tele-Booths' a non starter due to poor infrastructure says Reid.


The plan to use tele-booths so that patients in remote areas can contact a GP out-of-hours service is a non-starter given the very poor telecoms infrastructure, Alan Reid MP believes.
 
"Experiences during the last couple of months in Argyll and Bute sadly prove that," said the Argyll and Bute MP.
 
"How can NHS Highland use this technology when it is at the mercy of bad weather and the inability of BT and mobile phone companies to carry out repairs?" said Mr Reid. "Until the telecoms infrastructure is greatly improved and made resilient this is not the solution."
NHS Highland has long had difficulties in recruiting GPs and the cost of providing locum doctors has soared. It is now holding working groups and considering consulting the public on the hi-tech idea.
 
But many parts of Argyll & Bute have been suffering with no, or very slow, broadband, landline and mobile telephone coverage since the start of December 2014 when the region was hit by the first wave of winter storms.
 
"The risks and uncertainties of tele-booths would be too great," Mr Reid said. "People could have no confidence that the system would work. With better telecoms infrastructure, tele-booths could be a useful addition to a good local GP service, but the Health Board’s main priority should be to put far more effort into attracting GPs to come and work in Argyll & Bute. If this costs more money, then it must be paid. Everyone in Scotland is entitled to the same access to a GP no matter where they live.”

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