Returning home from a maternity unit clutching a distorted image of a grainy swirl is one of the most exciting days in the life of the expectant parent, who has just been handed black and white proof that a new child is on its way. Seeing is believing, and a photo allows the joyful news to be shared.
For most mothers-to-be in Scotland, the image is handed over without thought of charging, although there was knowledge that in some parts of Scotland there is a fee. Now it has emerged that NHS Highland’s policy of a few years’ standing, which asks for £5 for a scan photo, leaves that health authority as the only one to charge.
The fee itself is a token one, but the mandatory charge looks mean when set against practice in the rest of the country. Credit must go to NHS Highland for recognising the discrepancy, and promising a review. The only realistic outcomes are a waiving of the fee, or a request for a donation. Such a priceless image should not have a cost.