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Health plans for Scotland

Longer opening hours, dual registration and commuter walk-in centres could be coming to Scotland.

The Labour Party said all were under consideration for its manifesto for the 2007 Scottish parliamentary elections.

The controversial policies were all mooted for inclusion in the Community Health White Paper for England and Wales, but Scotland appeared to have escaped.

Andy Kerr, minister for health, said the changes were aimed at improving services to better meet patient needs.

He said: 'Health boards already have the flexibility to extend opening times at GP surgeries and operating theatres, and we would encourage them to use this.'

Dr Barbara West, secretary of Glasgow LMC, said: 'It is often the case that health policies are adopted from England three years later and once they've discovered they're no good.

'Presumably if he wants better or longer access he'll have to pay for it and that's really the bottom line.'

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