Consultation Response: Healthcare in Remote and Rural areas in Scotland

The Scottish Parliament’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee is planning work into healthcare in rural & remote areas. Bòrd na Gàidhlig has submitted a response to their consultation on this work. Among the points we raised, we stated the following:

There is a need for a clearer and up to date understanding of how existing healthcare provision affects population attraction and retention – and thus communities’ viability. To what extent is current provision a “push” factor that causes some people to move away from their community? That is in a context where population levels are already declining in many remote and rural areas.

Loss of population in areas with Gaelic speakers due to inadequate healthcare provision could have a significant negative impact on the language. If Gaelic users move elsewhere this would have two impacts. First, a reduction in the number of Gaelic speakers in the affected area. Second, affected households may move to an area where Gaelic is much less used and over time, they may no longer regularly use the language – or may lose it altogether. 

The full response can be read here.