Labour parliamentary candidate Alasdair Morrison has written to the Scottish Health Secretary urging her to intervene and address the lack of GP cover in North Harris with the 'urgency the situation merits'. 

He told her not to 'shirk her responsibilities' and ask herself a simple question - is the lack of GP cover in north Harris a situation which she would accept for herself or her family?

Mr Morrison recently met with a concerned group of residents in Harris who outlined their grave concerns regarding the impact inadequate out-of-hours GP cover is having on their community and families.  

He wrote: "Since that meeting I have received numerous emails and messages from others in Harris who are appalled that the Scottish Government is unable and unwilling to provide resources that will ensure that everybody on the island enjoys round-the-clock GP cover.  They feel abandoned by those who are supposed to represent them and have contacted me so that this unacceptable situation can be brought to your attention. 

"I was shocked to hear from a lady who had to drive her daughter and sick grandchild, late at night, in treacherous winter conditions, over the highest roads in these islands to receive medical care in the hospital in Stornoway. This is a completely unacceptable and needs to be immediately addressed by you and your Department.

"I would urge you to apply a simple test:  is this a set of circumstances that you would accept for you and your family? As well as the obvious implications for those living in Harris, this also affects the health professionals based in Lewis who are expected to provide the additional coverage. "

Added Mr Morrison: "As our health minister you must not shirk responsibility but personally involve yourself in this matter and put in place a proper and adequate solution.   

"I look forward to hearing from you as a matter of urgency, as I am sure you will appreciate that for the community on the Isle of Harris the current situation is unacceptable."