On the 12th August 2017 I sent the following letter to Shona Robison, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport for the Scottish Government:
Dear Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport,
PE01493 on a Sunshine Act for Scotland. Are the Scottish public being listened to?
PE1493, A Sunshine Act for Scotland was closed by the Scottish Parliament in March 2016.
The Scottish Health Council published its public engagement exercise the same month.
The Scottish Government’s last public statement about this matter was in your letter dated 22 March 2016. In this letter you confirmed that “a majority of participants felt that publication of financial payments to healthcare professionals should be mandatory. In terms of next steps, the Scottish Government will discuss the contents of this report with the appropriate regulators and scope out options of how mandatory publication of payments to healthcare professionals from industry could be delivered.”
As far as I am aware there has been no further update to the Scottish public in the 17 months that have since passed. My view is that this is a failure of governance and would seem to demonstrate a lack of respect for democracy.
On becoming First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon stated: “I intend that we will be an open and accessible Government”.
I am writing to ask if the Scottish Government intends to update the Scottish public on this matter and when. The public would rightly hope that your reply will have meaningful content. I would be grateful if you could reply to this letter in writing.
Dr Peter J Gordon
I have organised a peaceful protest to be held on Monday 21st August 2017 for anybody who has had difficulty communicating with high public office in Scotland.
I have now received this reply from the Scottish Government, dated 15th September 2017:
I am disappointed in this response for a number of reasons:
- there seems to be a missed opportunity to consider this issue as part of the Chief Medical Officer’s Realistic Medicine initiative
- the public view on this issue has been established yet, after all this time, my hope of an update to the public seems unrealistic