AN appeal has been made for Highland constituents to voice their complaints directly to the health board if they are unhappy with the price of television in Raigmore Hospital.
Scotland’s health secretary Shona Robison has waded into the debate after being alerted to the issue by Inverness and Nairn MSP Fergus Ewing.
He highlighted the controversial situation after being contacted by Shelley Gill and Dan Rennie who have spearheaded a campaign to have the price of television in the hospital slashed or completely removed.
Mrs Gill, of Kessock Road, launched a petition in March after TV access during a short hospital stay for her grandmother Jan Ryan (74) cost her £46.
Within a couple of weeks the bill was £140 as her grandmother went in and out of hospital.
Since then her grandmother has died but Mrs Gill refuses to give up on the issue.
She hopes that something can be done to change the price of television in Raigmore Hospital before 2019 when NHS Highland will reassess its contract with its media provider Hospedia.
Ms Robison told Mr Ewing that the Scottish Government is aware that other NHS boards in Scotland have contracts with Hospedia for bedside entertainment and telephone services.
She added that there are communal facilities available for watching television, and she explained that as the day-to-day management of health care facilities is a matter for NHS boards, people who are concerned with the situation may wish to raise them directly with NHS Highland.
Mr Rennie, a long-term dialysis patient at Raigmore Hospital, does not think her action is enough.
He hopes Mr Ewing will continue to support campaigners in pressuring NHS Highland to make the same move as NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and provide free bedside television.
"I had hoped the Scottish Government would have taken a stronger position as it is clear the current arrangements disadvantage those on the lowest incomes in particular at a time when they are in ill health," he said.
People can call the NHS Highland feedback team by calling 01463 705997, emailing email@example.com or by writing to them at PO Box 5713, Inverness, IV1 9AQ or anonymously at www.patientopinion.org.uk