Anne McTaggart MSP

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Search for other Speeches made by Anne McTaggart (Glasgow) (Lab)

Meeting of the Parliament 28 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Anne McTaggart (Glasgow) (Lab)

I am pleased to have the opportunity this evening to contribute to the debate because hepatitis C is an on-going concern to many of my constituents in Glasgow. I therefore thank Kevin Stewart for securing time in the chamber to discuss it.

This year is just as important as the time 20 years ago when I first studied the implications of hepatitis C when I was working in addiction. This year will see the publication of a revised sexual health and blood-borne virus framework, the staging of the World Hepatitis Alliance summit in Glasgow in September, and the anticipated availability of a host of new treatments that promise cure rates of up to 95 per cent. This year is hugely important.

Although Scotland has made progress with the hepatitis C action plan and the inclusion of the hepatitis C virus in “The Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Framework 2011-2015”, which is internationally acclaimed, there is still more to be done. Recent treatment targets have not been met and further action is required. If such action is not taken, hepatitis C will remain a significant public health concern and will result in higher rates of liver disease and cancer at great cost to individuals and the health service.

As Kevin Stewart said, it is estimated that 45 per cent of Scottish chronic hepatitis C infections go undiagnosed. The risk of transmission is therefore high and will remain so without concerted action to test for and treat infection.

Glasgow has the highest rate of hepatitis C in Scotland, with 40 per cent of all diagnosed cases occurring in the Glasgow and greater Clyde area. I have recently been contacted by two constituents who have haemophilia and have contracted hepatitis C as a result of their having been given contaminated blood products by the national health service. The hepatitis C has left them with cirrhosis of the liver. My constituents are concerned that treatments that are currently available on the NHS are less successful than some that are available abroad, and they believe that all haemophiliacs in this country should be entitled to the most effective drugs and treatments, regardless of cost and the country in which they are administered. The Scottish Government should seek negotiations with the pharmaceutical companies on the cost of those drugs.

My constituents also state that sufferers of haemophilia are unable to secure life insurance because of their medical condition and expected shortened lifespan. They believe that the Scottish Government should take responsibility for payment of life insurance policies that would after their deaths offer stability and security to their families. I have written a letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport about each of the cases that I am dealing with and I am still awaiting her reply.

Hepatitis C is preventable, treatable and curable for the majority of patients. With new and more effective drug treatments soon to be available, hepatitis C can be eliminated from Scotland provided that there is a Scottish Government commitment to doing so and to prolonging lives, including those of my constituents.

18:00  

Meeting of the Parliament 27 January 2015 : Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Anne McTaggart (Glasgow) (Lab)

In light of the Angiolini report, which stated that the rehabilitation of women offenders is best served in the community, when will the cabinet secretary review the funding for community programmes?



Meeting of the Parliament 27 January 2015 : Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Anne McTaggart (Glasgow) (Lab)

I congratulate Stewart Maxwell on securing this important debate.

Today is a day for everyone to pause and remember the 6 million Jewish men, women and children who were murdered by the Nazi regime in occupied Europe. It was not just Jewish people who were killed. Many other people met their deaths on the same sites, including Poles, Russians, socialists, communists, Christians, homosexuals, mentally and physically disabled people and people from the Roma community.

All were the direct victims of the hate and sectarianism of the Nazis. Today—27 January—survivors will lay wreaths and light candles at the so-called death wall at block 11 to mark 70 years since the camp’s liberation, in memory of those who never left.

We need to recognise that genocide does not just take place on its own; it is a steady process that can begin if discrimination, racism and hatred are not checked, tackled and prevented.

Events are taking place across the United Kingdom to mark Holocaust memorial day. In my own constituency, Glasgow, there will be a memorial meeting tonight in the Scottish Trades Union Congress building. The main aim of such meetings is not only to remember the victims of the Holocaust and why it happened but to draw attention to the modern-day threat of fascism and racism, which is on the rise across Europe and in Britain.

Holocaust memorial day is always an important event in the area, as Glasgow is home to a large Jewish community. Speaking at the meeting tonight will be two of the “Glasgow Girls”, Amal Azzudin and Roza Salih—I hope that I pronounced their names properly—along with community activist Pinar Aksu. All three were part of a trade union-sponsored delegation on a recent Unite Against Fascism Holocaust memorial trip to the Auschwitz concentration camp, and they will be giving a report of their experience of visiting the camps. I regret that I am not able to be at the STUC building tonight to hear the personal reflections of those young people and how their trip to Auschwitz affected them, but I aim to catch up with them as soon as I can to hear about their experience.

Earlier today, we heard from Lucy Paterson and Kieran Smyth, two pupils from St Andrew’s RC secondary school in Glasgow, who delivered an excellent and moving contribution at time for reflection. My colleague Ken Macintosh spoke about their journey and experiences earlier.

We have come a long way since the liberation of Auschwitz 70 years ago. We would think that, after the revelation of such dreadful crimes, those who voiced the same views as the Nazis could never gain any votes or any credibility again, but sadly the spectre of fascism haunts Europe once more.

People with fascist views are being elected in parts of Europe and, after recent events in Germany and France, more than ever across Europe we must learn the lessons of history. All those who believe in freedom and democracy and who oppose racism and fascism must stand together united in order to ensure that the horrors of Auschwitz never happen again. We must keep the memory alive and never forget; enable and support our young ambassadors of the Holocaust Educational Trust Auschwitz project, who aim to keep their memory of the visits alive; and enable and support them to keep the memory alive and never forget.

18:08  

European and External Relations Committee 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Anne McTaggart (Glasgow) (Lab)

Good morning, Ms Minor. I have two quick questions.

First, which areas of the work plan are of particular interest to Scotland?



European and External Relations Committee 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Anne McTaggart

Thank you.

Secondly, how do you envisage some of the work programmes that you have mentioned helping to deliver the Europe 2020 goals?



Meeting of the Parliament 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Anne McTaggart (Glasgow) (Lab)

I am pleased to take part in this important debate on what is surely one of our most cherished institutions: our national health service. I know that members from across the Parliament feel passionately about it. We all want an NHS that meets the needs of people across Scotland. After all, it was the Labour Party that created the NHS in 1948, as a service based on people, not profits. For me, it remains our party’s proudest achievement and it will continue to be our priority in years to come.

I agree with many of the principles that are contained in the Government’s 2020 vision, such as the values of collaboration and co-operation with patients and the voluntary sector; continued investment in the public sector rather than the private sector; increased flexibility and the provision of local services; and openness and accountability to the public. There is plenty in there that we can all agree on.

That is why it pains me to read some of the horror stories that have been coming out about our NHS in the past few weeks, some of which have been mentioned. Patients have a legal right to be seen within four weeks, but the law has been broken a staggering 12,000 times since it came into force. Thousands of patients are waiting too long at A and E and are having operations cancelled. Those stories are almost unbelievable but, sadly, that is the mess that our NHS is in at the moment.



Meeting of the Parliament 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Anne McTaggart

It is your law. You put it in place and you have broken the law 12,000 times. That is 12,000 people and families who have been affected.

Behind each of those stories is a vulnerable patient and their family who are suffering, which is why we need to take urgent action. We know that the NHS in Scotland is facing significant pressures while having to make major changes to services to meet future needs. Audit Scotland’s October 2014 report on the NHS highlighted the fact that boards are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the pressures. Demands on our NHS are increasing as a result of demographic change, particularly the growing population of elderly and very elderly people, as well as the growing number of people with long-term health conditions and people’s rising expectations of healthcare.

Behind the scenes, our NHS staff have dedicated their careers to saving lives and caring for our vulnerable. The truth is that they are overstretched and underresourced. That is why I reiterate my colleagues’ calls to include an NHS front-line fund in the coming budget.



Meeting of the Parliament 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Anne McTaggart

I most certainly do acknowledge that—I totally agree with Mr Robertson that that will accommodate some of the difficulties that we are facing just now. However, I and most of my colleagues have asked for a front-line fund for the NHS.

Although I welcome the fact that the Government has committed £100 million over the next three years to reduce delayed discharge numbers, I believe that we need additional budget to help deal with the increasing pressures on A and E services. The front-line fund would allow hospitals that are facing extra pressures to move to seven-day-a-week operations, meaning that hospitals would be able to deliver better care, with planned surgery at the weekends and diagnostics in the evenings. That would also free up beds, meaning that patients would get quicker, better care, while reducing the pressure on front-line NHS staff. While junior doctors currently cover weekend and night services, our front-line fund could be used to ensure that under-pressure hospitals have consultants on shifts that they do not currently cover.

Those changes would be made in conjunction with clinicians and staff to ensure that they deliver more efficient care to patients and reduce the real demands and pressures on staff. They could be paid for from the Barnett consequentials. That would provide real help to front-line staff, and I urge the Scottish Government to consider our proposals. It is imperative that the NHS gets the support that it needs, so that Scots can get the care that they deserve.

It is clear that our NHS faces significant challenges over the coming years, no matter which party is in power. I will always be proud of our NHS and I will champion its amazing staff but, without the necessary resources, they will not be able to provide the highest quality of care that they want to provide and that our patients deserve.

16:07  

Meeting of the Parliament 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Anne McTaggart (Glasgow) (Lab)

How many of the organisations that receive money from that ever-decreasing budget are living-wage employers?



European and External Relations Committee 15 January 2015 : Thursday, January 15, 2015
Anne McTaggart (Glasgow) (Lab)

Thank you, convener—I am pleased to be here. I refer people to my entry in the register of members’ interests.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

 
AbstainDefeated

 
YesCarried

 
YesCarried

S4M-12160.2 Michael Matheson: Women Offenders—As an amendment to motion S4M-12160 in the name of Kez
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AbstainCarried

S4M-12160.3 Margaret Mitchell: Women Offenders—As an amendment to motion S4M-12160 in the name of Ke
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

S4M-12160 Kezia Dugdale: Women Offenders—That the Parliament welcomes the decision of the Scottish G
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12154.1 Lewis Macdonald: Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) – Supporting Indivi
>> Show more
YesDefeated

S4M-12120.1 Jenny Marra: 2020 Vision, the Strategic Forward Direction of the NHS—As an amendment to
>> Show more
YesDefeated

S4M-12101 John Swinney: Budget (Scotland) (No.4) Bill—That the Parliament agrees to the general prin
>> Show more
AbstainCarried

S4M-12095.4 Ken Macintosh: Tackling Inequalities—As an amendment to motion S4M-12095 in the name of
>> Show more
YesDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Anne McTaggart
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-12180: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 27/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12087: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 16/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12071: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 15/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12058: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 13/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12047: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 13/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12037: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12010: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 08/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11932: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 17/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11851: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 09/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11824: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 05/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Anne McTaggart
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4W-24139: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 22/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03880: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 17/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23700: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 16/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23701: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 16/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23604: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 09/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23603: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 09/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23488: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 02/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23256: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 19/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23129: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03704: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 11/11/2014 Show Full Question >>

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