Healthy debate

Barrhead health centre
Barrhead health centre

EAST RENFREWSHIRE now has an £18 million pound health centre to call its own.

However, following the opening of the Barrhead facility, Conservative candidate Jackson Carlaw has criticised the building and demanding a similar investment in Newton Mearns

The Barrhead centre is home to three GP practices and two dental practices as well as physiotherapy and podiatry services, health visitor and district nursing teams along with social work and home care services.

There will also be a day care centre for older people with its own entrance and garden.

Mental health services for the whole of East Renfrewshire will also be offered.

Mr Carlaw said: “I am uncomfortable reading that significant sums of money have been spent on a staff rooftop terrace and rather preposterous works of art.

“Given pressure on NHS funding, every penny spent should be on the provision of frontline services and not on unnecessary fripperies.

“Eastwood is the largest residential community in Europe to be without a health centre. It is time for all politicians to work together to deliver a local centre”.

His rivals for the Eastwood seat on May 5, Stewart Maxwell and Ken Macintosh, both agree that, while a Newton Mearns health centre would be a good thing, it is not a priority.

Labour candidate Mr Macintosh has instead called for a replacement of the Clarkston clinic.

He told The Extra: “I am all for any investment in health but I have no strong views about where in East Renfrewshire it should be.

“Following the Victoria Infirmary, I am sceptical there is more capital around for building new facilities.

“Instead of waiting more than a decade for a Newton Mearns health centre, I would look to supporting GP’s politically, publicly and possibly financially in investing in their surgeries as many are cramped and run down”.

And SNP candidate Stewart Maxwell said: “Although it would undoubtedly be a huge asset, I believe keeping and maintaining current facilities needs to take precedence.

“I have not had a single person raise the issue with me on the doors.

“The Loganswell incinerator and the roads are far bigger concerns”.