Alex Cole-Hamilton has urged the Scottish Government to do more to deal with the Monkeypox outbreak which has so far infected 71 people in Scotland.

Alex said:

During the Covid crisis we saw that government policy was better when precautions were explained to people, contingency plans laid out in public and scrutiny encouraged.

It was when the government chose to make decisions behind closed doors and failed to take the public with them that many of the worst decisions of the pandemic were made.

This is an opportunity to show that lessons have been learned from the Covid crisis. The WHO says that this is an emergency so while caseloads are still low, it’s important that ministers act.

We should not forget that many of those at the highest risk from monkeypox are from groups that have in the past been allowed to fall through the cracks in healthcare. Long delays to access the preventative medicine PrEP in NHS Lothian show that healthcare for men who have sex with men is still an ongoing issue.

In England, walk-in vaccinations clinics have already been set up. Ministers need to set out what the current scientific advice is and outline whether similar measures are being put in place here in Scotland to ensure those are more likely to be at risk from catching Monkeypox are able to get vaccinated.”