Saturday, 9 January 2016

A Sunshine Act for Scotland Petition @ScotParl: Why no reference to Scottish Health Council Consultation?

An update on the Sunshine Act for Scotland Petition lodged on the Scottish Parliament website by Dr Peter John Gordon on 29 September 2013.  Asking the question: why is there no reference to, or information, about the Scottish Health Council Consultation on the parliament petition page?

"The Scottish Government has commissioned the Scottish Health Council to undertake consultation with the public. This is underway with ten separate discussion groups with somewhere less than 100 participants overall" from Dr Gordon's letter 20 Nov15

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PE01493: A Sunshine Act for Scotland:

"Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to introduce a Sunshine Act for Scotland, creating a searchable record of all payments (including payments in kind) to NHS Scotland healthcare workers from Industry and Commerce."

Scottish Parliament: Sunshine Act Petition information

[see also Dr Gordon's writings about the Sunshine Act on his Hole Ousia website]

Dr Gordon submitted two more letters to Scottish Parliament in Nov/Dec 2015, raising concerns about the way in which the Scottish Health Council consultation was being managed, in respect of missing evidence and unbalanced information.  

Links to the letters:
20 November 2015
2 December 2015

Quotes from letters:

"One of the main themes of this petition is genuine transparency. I am therefore also disappointed to note that the authors of the information provided are not identified

"Can the Petitions Committee confirm who they tasked, and hold accountable for, the information provided for the public consultation on PE1493"

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my comment:

A consultation on such an important topic as public transparency of payments given to doctors by pharmaceutical companies deserves a more thorough "consultation" exercise than 100 participants.  This comes over as tokenistic and disrespectful, considering the amount of voluntary work, time and energy given by consultant psychiatrist Dr Peter Gordon.  

If the Public Petitions Committee were serious in their intent regarding the Sunshine Act then they should have commissioned a large piece of qualitative research, consisting of focus groups, one-to-one interviews, questionnaires sent out to a variety of stakeholders and an online survey to a wider public.  In this way the MSPs would have got more of a grasp of what the public thinks about the Sunshine Act for Scotland.  And whether doctors and other medical staff should be accountable for any profit made from industry and commerce, in particular from drug companies which are selling the pills that they prescribe.

The development of pharmaceutical drugs is Big Business.  It takes a million pounds to bring a drug to the prescribing stage.  Therefore the drug companies need to recoup their costs and hence the Big Sell.  We the public deserve to have drugs/medication prescribed for our needs and not because the doctor is in the pay, or under the influence, of Big Pharma. 

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8 June 2015: A Sunshine Act for Scotland Petition PE1493 by Dr Peter J Gordon: under consideration 9 June 2015 @ScotParl

23 April 2015:my #BMJ Response: 'Sunshine Act for Scotland: transparency, independence and accountability'

18 March 2015: 31 March 2015: Sunshine Act for Scotland Public Petition PE1493 @ScotParl. Again. I'm looking for action.

28 January 2015: my tweets after watching #SunshineAct for Scotland petition being discussed on @ScotParl video 27 January 2015

23 January 2015:  Sunshine Act for Scotland Petition Goes Before Parliament a 3rd Time

13 November 2013: Sunshine Act for Scotland petition Dr Peter J Gordon, Public Petitions Committee 11 Nov 14 Scottish Parliament (outcome? ask Scottish Government)


1 comment:

  1. The Scottish Health Council undertakes a vital role which has my full support. That is to allow the voice of the Scottish people to contribute to healthcare decision making.

    In this Scottish Health Council film, 'Our Voice', Paul Gray, the Director General for NHS Scotland outlines how this initiative "will give patients, service users and the public more power to influence their health and care":

    http://www.scottishhealthcouncil.org/patient__public_participation/our_voice/our_voice.aspx#.VpFggY_XKhc

    The Scottish Health Council can only reflect the balance of the information provided to it by the Scottish Government which calls into question whether it can be truly independent.

    Dr Peter J Gordon
    Bridge of Allan

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