Letters / ‘Cynical posturing’

The Liberal Democrat candidate’s attempts to make political capital out of the MRI scanner appeal are deplorable.

As she very well knows, the Shetland MRI appeal has succeeded beyond expectations, thanks to the generosity of the public and Shetland’s Charitable Trust.

More than enough money has now been raised to buy the scanner, install it in the Gilbert Bain Hospital and train the staff who will operate it.

All the running costs of the scanner, including staffing, will be met by the Scottish Government through its funding for Shetland’s NHS.

So why is Beatrice Wishart MSP now demanding that the Scottish Government should contribute to the capital cost?

Did she or her predecessor actually ask the health minister to fund the scanner when the Shetland NHS Endowment Fund started the appeal? If they did, it was kept very quiet.

The answer to such a request would have been the same as the response from Tavish Scott’s Liberal Democrat/Labour Party coalition at Holyrood, back in 2004-5, when Peter Malcolmson and others launched the public appeal to buy a Computer Aided Tomography (CT) scanner for our hospital: although it would obviously be of enormous benefit to patients who would no longer have to travel south for scans, the health board’s savings on patient travel costs did not outweigh the capital, training and staffing costs.


Like NHS Shetland the Scottish Government has to make a ‘business case’ to justify all its spending, so it is not in a financial position to install MRI scanners in every district general hospital in Scotland.

It would be wonderful if the Scottish Government could pay for scanners everywhere, but in the meantime the solution of a local appeal to buy the kit and Scottish Government money to operate it seems a sensible compromise.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


The many good-hearted folk who contributed to the appeal must be as disappointed as I am with Beatrice Wishart’s cynical posturing.

Robbie McGregor (press officer for Tom Wills, SNP candidate for Shetland)

Beatrice Wishart’s original press release on the issue in which she called on the government to “seriously engage” with plans to install an MRI scanner, can be found here.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.