AT full council last Thursday we had a motion put forward basically saying that this council is not very happy with the way the Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board are treating the people of Inverclyde who might happen to fall ill during the night and may need a wee bit of attention.

The way the out-of-hours service works is you dial 111 if you’re not feeling too grand and you speak to a trained call handler who will ask you all the relevant questions and might give you some advice.

If they think it’s of a more serious nature you will likely be passed on to a qualified medical practitioner who, after further discussion, will point you in the right direction – as in telling you to turn up at such and such hospital and someone will see you.

A pretty decent system on the surface it would seem, and if you live anywhere in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area then you’ll likely be directed to a hospital not too far from your home – unless you live in Inverclyde!

You should be okay on a Saturday, or on a Sunday now too for that matter (they’ve thrown in Sundays now as a wee favour to us). Even on a public holiday everything should go swimmingly and up to the IRH you will trot.

The problem lies during the week. Paisley or the Queen Elizabeth will be your likely destination if you take no’ weel then. A minimum fifty-mile round trip to get looked at. Of course, this is doable if you’ve got a decent motor sitting at your door and somebody to drive you. Most people don’t.

The health board have cars, but they’re no’ quite sure how many, and they might be able to come and pick you up. Might is probably the important word here.

Now, the people of Inverclyde deserve better than this. Why should we tolerate a lesser service than the rest of the health board area? Is it simply because we are out on a limb? Not an easy fix?

I spoke to a doctor later on that same evening and the conversation got round to this. Staffing, he said. You can’t get doctors or consultants to come down as far as here, they prefer to work in the city.

Is that so, I thought! Let’s get this straight. We have a National Health Service that looks after a multitude of medical centres, serving the needs of every community in the country – and we have the healthcare professionals within that service dictating where they might no’ fancy working? Have I got this right?

If a hospital is understaffed these same people can turn round and say I’m no’ gaun down there, I don’t fancy that at all! Is that the way it is?

What if every police officer in Scotland decided Inverclyde was a bit on the rough side for them? What if the firefighters couldn’t get their numbers to manage their stations? We might even need to shut a couple of our schools because there might not be enough teachers locally to go round?

No, that would all be sorted.

And that’s exactly what the Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board need to do here. Sort it. Don’t think Inverclyde is ready to accept an inferior service and just shrug our shoulders! We just want access to the same level of service as everyone else in the west of Scotland.

Sometimes I am immensely proud of my fellow councillors! They speak as one on this matter!