Skye residents hit by NHS surgery cuts

A number of surgical procedures are being discontinued at a hospital in Skye. Picture: PA

A number of surgical procedures are being discontinued at a hospital in Skye. Picture: PA

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PATIENTS on Skye face long trips to the mainland after a cash-strapped health board axed a range of surgical procedures at the island’s hospital.

The move to suspend endoscopy services – which inspect the stomach, large bowel and bladder – at the MacKinnon Memorial Hospital in Broadford will affect up to 600 islanders a year, who will now have to make round trips of more than 150 miles for examinations in Inverness or Fort William.

The shock move, which will save NHS Highland almost £100,000 a year, comes following an announcement that residents on North Harris will no longer receive out-of-hours GP cover.

Politicians have criticised the decisions.

NHS Highland defended the suspension of endoscopy services, saying it had been taken for a number of reasons, including the fact the the decontamination facilities locally are no longer compatible with current standards, which are achieved elsewhere in the region.

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