Victims of disgraced NHS Tayside surgeon Eljamel to protest AGAIN at Holyrood as anger grows

Victims of disgraced NHS Tayside surgeon Sam Eljamel will hold a protest outside Holyrood again this week as they demand urgent progress on the long-awaited public inquiry.

Dozens of campaigners, harmed by the rogue doctor, will rally on Wednesday as they put new SNP health chief Neil Gray in the spotlight.

Victims are also concerned by uncertainty over under-fire National Clinical Director Jason Leitch’s role in setting up the inquiry.

Former Dundee doctor Eljamel repeatedly harmed patients while he was employed by NHS Tayside between 1995 and 2013.

‘Not acceptable’

First Minister Humza Yousaf ordered a full public inquiry into the scandal last September last year, relenting to repeated pleas from patients made over several years.

Ex-health secretary Michael Matheson, who quit earlier this month, also said a separate one-to-one review of all patients’ cases would be held.

Former NHS Tayside neurosurgeon Sam Eljamel. Image: DC Thomson

But since then Eljamel’s victims have voiced their frustration at the slow rate of progress in getting the dual probes into the debacle underway.

“The Scottish Government needs to immediately cease treating patients like the can that constantly gets kicked up the street,” said lead campaigner Jules Rose.

She added: “It is atrocious that we are, yet again, having to resort to staging a protest to achieve any movement. It’s not acceptable.”

SNP leader Mr Yousaf was criticised last month when he was unable to confirm the public inquiry will begin this year.

New SNP health secretary Neil Gray. Image: PA.

Campaigners protesting outside parliament on Wednesday want a chair for the inquiry to be appointed quickly.

Scottish Government officials say a candidate has been identified, but as of yet an announcement has not been made.

Kinross mum Ms Rose added: “We are hoping that Neil Gray will do a better job than his predecessors. He needs to take this matter seriously.”

Glenrothes grandmother Theresa Mallett, another victim, will also be among the crowd at this week’s Eljamel rally.

She told us: “We want to send a clear message to the government and Neil Gray: they must deal with our inquiry immediately. A chair must be appointed soon.”

‘Progressing necessary work’

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Scottish Government officials are progressing the necessary work to establish both the independent clinical review and public inquiry.

“Once established, these will be carried out and chaired independently of both the Scottish Government and NHS Tayside.

National Clinical Director Jason Leitch. Jane Barlow/PA Wire

“Further meetings have taken place this week with prospective chairs and details will be shared publicly as soon as possible and we will ensure that former patients are informed directly wherever possible.”

Last month it emerged Jason Leitch remained an NHS Tayside employee on a secondment to his civil service role.

The revelation raised conflict-of-interest questions, with The Courier later uncovering board meeting minutes suggesting he once held a senior role with the local authority.


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