In his short story, The Nummer 14 Bus, James Robertson evokes the daily struggle played out on a bus ride through Scotland’s affluent capital. It could be a bus ride in any UK city.
‘Ensuring that police practices reduce, rather than exacerbate, harms to drug users is an important part of that. Policing is part of the picture; now more than ever, collective action can help reduce drug-related deaths.’
‘I don’t mean to paint the NHS picture as rosy but, in reality, publicly funded healthcare is more efficient and more equ’itable. The UK is heading for a total health bill of £200bn per annum, but even that is actually great value for money.
If this happens, the NHS Scotland will see average annual real terms increases of around 3.1% during this parliament (and 4.2% annually over the next three years), more than double the implication of its existing plans, which envisage average annual real terms increases on the NHS over the parliament of around 1.4%.
‘But this is the sad truth about a would-be full European state: its references/comparisons on health issues (as at the opening First Minister’s Question Time of 2018) are always to/with England. In some cases, it borders on an obsession. At the very least, we should rather investigate how EU member states perform and what we can learn from them.’
‘I think MSPs should make a fuss if the budget materials provided to them are not factually correct, as a matter of principle, regardless of the policy or scale. But on this one they didn’t last year, as far as I know, so the government may be banking on a further free pass’.
‘The Index goes beyond a simple measure of GDP growth in trying to determine relative changes in well-being across similarly developed countries. Indeed, given the tenuous link between government policy and short term economic growth, the Index is better suited to identifying areas which government can influence in order to improve the economic fundamentals’.
One in eight secondary school-age pupils in Glasgow provides care for someone at home. Not only do these pupils care for someone with a disability, long-term illness, mental health or substance issue, they also have poorer outcomes for their own health and future expectations.
‘The prevention of DRDs in Scotland requires an immediate and radical harm reduction led response, developed in collaboration with people who use drugs….The tragedy of Scotland’s spiralling deaths from drug use is everyone’s problem. The time for brave leadership and concerted action is now.
‘It’s now also clear that standing up to the political impulse to go national, fast, would have enabled the costs to be pinned down better before the long-term commitment was made…