Peter John Gordon : Over two years ago I raised a petition with the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to introduce a Sunshine Act for Scotland.
A Sunshine Act would make it mandatory for healthcare workers (and hopefully academics and all allied health professionals) to declare fully any payments including payments in kind. The argument I presented was that a single, searchable, independent register underpinned by statute would ensure transparency, promote scientific integrity, reduce the potential for harm and save money.
My petition was closed earlier this month by the Scottish Parliament as the Scottish Government had committed to “update guidance”.
One of the actions of the Government in response to my petition was to commission a public consultation.
Last week the public voice of Scotland was revealed: the Scottish Public want sunshine.
The majority of participants felt that the publication of financial payments to healthcare professionals should be made mandatory. There is substantial evidence from other countries that the only effective way to make transparency mandatory is to have statutory legislation.
This is a landmark decision in the United Kingdom. By the voices of Scotland. Of course there is much more to be done which requires energy and light.
However I have faith that the Scottish Government can provide this: