Momentum builds for Kincardine Health Centre campaign

A CAMPAIGN to reverse a decision to withdraw funding for a new health centre in Kincardine is gathering momentum after a public meeting secured the support of a leading MSP.

The meeting was organised by Councillor Graeme Downie, Labour Councillor for West Fife & Coastal Villages.

It also heard from Jackie Baillie MSP, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care.

Jackie gave her support for the campaign and pledged to raise the issue at Holyrood with SNP Health Secretary Michael Matheson.

Councillor Graeme Downie stands in front of Kincardine's aging health centre
The current health centre is unfit for purpose, according to Councillor Graeme Downie

Cllr. Downie gave several updates on the situation regarding the current health centre, saying that it is a cottage built in the early 20th century.

A 2016 report confirmed it was not fit for purpose for reasons including a lack of disabled access, no storage and insufficient space, according to the Councillor.

He added that the Scottish Government and NHS Fife agreed a plan and funding for a new health centre in the village which would better serve the area’s growing population.

Cllr. Downie claims that in March 2023, the SNP announced it was delaying funding until “the second half of the decade” because it was no longer a priority.

He said that other projects in Fife affected by the delay include plans for a new health centre in Lochgelly.

Cllr. Downie also said that, despite approaches from local people, Health Secretary Michael Matheson MSP has refused to meet with local people to explain the decision.

“It is outrageous that the person responsible for breaking their promise…to provide a new health centre is too scared to come and explain that decision to the community,” he said. 

“It would only take a small diversion of his Ministerial car but Michael Matheson is unwilling to even do that.”

He continued: “I am delighted to have the support of Scottish Labour and Jackie Baillie MSP.

“I am sure with her help at Holyrood we can continue to press the SNP Scottish Government to do the right thing and bring back the funding that this centre so desperately needs.”

Commenting, Scottish Labour Health Spokesperson Jackie Baillie said: “For too long people in Kincardine have been let down by an SNP government that is out of ideas and out of touch.

“This health centre is vital to the local community, but Mr Matheson has not even taken the time to explain this decision to the people he’s letting down.

“I will be raising this issue in Holyrood and hope to hear from Mr Matheson soon.”