Orkney Liberal Democrat Candidate Liam McArthur has today said that an expert report from NHS Grampian is right to warn of a "real risk" to patients if Aberdeen misses out on a lifesaving trauma centre.
The SNP Government promised in 2014 to build a major lifesaving trauma unit at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, but concern is growing that these plans will be dropped.
A report by the Area Clinical Forum (ACF), a body that represents the medical and allied professionals, has concluded that the loss of a promised lifesaving trauma centre would have a “negative impact on patient outcomes."
The report follows concerns raised by clinicians involved in trauma care. In a letter last month, 57 clinicians said that only two trauma centres were now being proposed - Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Mr McArthur claims the the SNP's "centralisation agenda" is threatening care for patients from the Northern Isles. He said:
"With an election pending, SNP Ministers have sat on this decision rather than come clean about their intentions. The evidence from medical professionals, however, cannot be ignored.
"These centres have the potential to deliver high quality, life saving care for patients, including those in Orkney. However, the prospect of the North of Scotland having no major trauma centre is deeply worrying.
"Over recent years, we have seen the SNP centralise services in a range of areas. This cannot be allowed to happen in this instance. Communities, patients and medical professionals across the North of Scotland and islands deserve better."
A decision on which hospitals in Scotland will receive the status of a major trauma centre is due after the election.