Mr Smith has worked at the Victoria Infirmary for 34 years and says plans for the new hospital are flawed. Picture: Marc Turner
A SURGEON today announced he is standing for the Scottish Parliament in protest at NHS changes.
David Smith, who intends to stand as an Independent in the Glasgow Cathcart ward, is demanding better healthcare provision across the south of Glasgow.
His campaign will see him go head-to-head with former city council leader Charlie Gordon.
Mr Smith claimed the local health board has been reducing services in that part of the city over the past 15 years.
The consultant surgeon is particularly concerned at plans to replace the 362-bed Victoria Hospital with a new building, which he claimed, will not meet local needs as it provide only day surgery and out-patient departments.
The other services currently offered, including an A&E department, are being transferred to the Southern General Hospital.
But Mr Smith, who has worked at the Victoria Hospital for 34 years, argued that those new facilities are planned for the wrong location.
He added: “I’ve been a consultant here for 30 years and I’m saddened by the way in which the health board in the last few years have decided to strip away the services from people in Cathcart.
“I’m hoping first of all that the public can be made aware of what is happening because I’m not sure they realise that this isn’t a realistic alternative to the Victoria.”
With the backing of around a dozen supporters, Mr Smith will launch his campaign at the Couper Institute, Clarkston Road, today.
He has spoken to Dr Jean Turner who campaigned to prevent the closure of Stobhill Hospital and was elected MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden in 2003.
But he insisted his campaign had a wider remit than simply preventing the closure of one hospital, as he is calling for an overall improvement in medical provision across Glasgow’s South Side.
Mr Smith added that he had nothing personal against Mr Gordon, who replaced Labour colleague Mike Watson as MSP for Cathcart in 2005.
“The reason I’m standing as an independent is that my feeling is that party politics hasn’t served the people of Cathcart well – it’s not the individual, it’s what he party says that matters,” the 63-year-old claimed.
Mr Gordon said the issues about the Victoria were now in the past. He said: “Mr Smith has taken advice from Jean Turner and what did she achieve at the last parliament?”
Publication date 04/04/07