The UK has been committed to free healthcare at the point of need since the NHS was established in 1948.
It’s a fundamental part of our society which no serious political party would ever dream of scrapping.
The NHS is established and protected here in Scotland but as our population ages there is an increasingly important area that has been left out.
Care homes are mostly in private hands – and it’s a situation a growing number of politicians and campaigners want to change.
It took a health pandemic to force the issue into full view.
The Record revealed last year how 70 per cent of private care homes had suspected Covid-19 cases, compared with 38 per cent in voluntary and not-for-profit establishments.
It’s just one example of why we need a National Care Service.
Yesterday, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the SNP would view the establishment of such a service as a “top priority” if her party is re-elected next month.
If the Nationalists are returned to power as expected it will be up to the opposition to ensure this election promise becomes a political reality.
We can’t afford for this issue to be kicked into the long grass. There can be no commission or inquiry which takes years to produce a report.
We need tangible signs of a National Care Service being created as soon as possible.
Such a system is long overdue and we simply don’t have any time to waste.
Any delays would be unforgivable.
Keep taking jag
The images of Sarah Beuckmann’s severe reaction to the AstraZeneca vaccine are shocking.
A week after her first jag the 34-year-old developed a rash which turned into painful blisters.
At one stage she thought she would lose her legs.
Despite her ordeal, Sarah recognises her own experience is very rare and urges everyone to take their coronavirus inoculations.
The Covid vaccine programme has been a miracle of accelerated science, compressing a decade of development into one year.
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Like all drugs there will be variations and adjustments to make in the formula as more and more data becomes available.
But we already know Covid vaccines save lives and reduce infections.
They give us the best hope of defeating the virus and their benefits hugely outweigh any risks.
Those who are offered the vaccine should take it, not just for their own good but the good of everyone else.
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