Last week there was much negativity in the MSM about the latest report regarding Scotland's NHS. Staffing costs are 30% more in Scotland than in England, Scots smoke more and drink more, especially fizzy drinks and the mortality rate is the highest in the UK.
It was all doom and gloom and painted Scotland as an obese, drunken nation - not a picture I recognise. Of course I live in a rural area and we do have a health problem here. Drugs.
To gain a more balanced analysis of this report watch Wednesday's Newsnight Scotland. John McLaren of the Centre for Public Policy in the regions (co-author of the report), Harry Barnes, Scotland's Medical Officer and David Walsh of the Glasgow centre for population heath (who identified the 'Scottish' effect) all took part. Harry Barnes' contribution was disappointing but it was interesting to hear, from John McLaren, that it was difficult for him to do an accurate comparison with our parts of the UK owing to the different style of data recording.
David Walsh mentioned he recently undertook a study comparing Glasgow with Liverpool as they are sociologically similar. He found that the premature death rate was still 30% higher in Scotland and could find no clear explanation.
If you're interested in the issue of Scotland's health do have a look at the video. It gives you a much more accurate picture of how this latest report was compiled.