Priority treatment in SCOTLAND!

Guidance on how NHS priority treatment will be extended to all armed service personnel who have developed health problems as a result of service to their country was today issued to health boards.

Previously, war veterans were only entitled to priority treatment for conditions relating to service if they received a war pension.

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Nicola Sturgeon announced last year that all veterans would receive the same access as war pensioners.

The guidance issued to health boards today asks them to ensure that all relevant staff are aware of the new arrangements, which come into effect on February 29.

Ms Sturgeon said: "It is only fair that those who experience health problems as a result of serving for their country should get priority access to treatment.

"Our service men and women do a fantastic job and I hope that the new measures to improve support for them will be warmly welcomed."

Ron Smith, Chairman of Veterans Scotland, said: "The veterans community in Scotland welcomes the willingness of the Scottish Government to engage with us to determine the most pragmatic way of implementing and monitoring the success of this new and much-needed policy, which is no more and no less than the country's recognition of its debt owed to Armed Forces veterans across Scotland."

The Scottish Government will shortly organise a workshop for individuals, representatives from veterans' organisations and representatives from Citizens Advice Scotland promote understanding of the new guidance.

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