Plans to upgrade a north-east hospital which has been closed for more than a year have been included in the SNP’s election manifesto.
The party unveiled £10 billion of proposals to renew and upgrade community health facilities, with Insch War Memorial Hospital highlighted as an example.
The hospital has been closed for more than a year as it was felt it would not be viable to operate it with Covid-19 restrictions in place.
Fergus Mutch, the SNP’s candidate in Aberdeenshire West, said: “This is a huge step towards the reopening of Insch Hospital after an anxious time for the community.
“It’s a much loved local resource, with a 100-year history. It forms the heart of the village and serves a huge swathe of rural Aberdeenshire.
“The SNP recognises the hospital’s value and I’ve been making the case for its safe reopening.
“I’m absolutely delighted that Insch Hospital features front and centre of my party’s plans to transform healthcare facilities across Scotland over the next decade.
“Insch is a community with a growing population. Like any public service, local healthcare must adapt and modernise to be match fit for the challenges of tomorrow. That requires investment in community facilities like Insch, and many other local hospitals across the north-east.”
The Friends of Insch Hospital charity, which has been campaigning to reopen the building, said it welcomed the party’s support.
In a statement it added: “As a politically impartial charity, we would welcome a similar message of support from all the other candidates.
“The Friends want to see the hospital reopened for inpatients, for local folk to regain health and for terminally ill people to spend their final days near their family.
“Covid interrupted the wonderful local care provided by our GPs and nursing team and now is the time for the service to resume.”