Chapter 4: Responses on impact assessments
The remaining questions related to the impact assessments to be carried out on the amendments to independent healthcare regulations. All were open questions inviting free text responses.
Question 6: What are your views on how further regulation of independent health care in Scotland might affect the protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, and sex?
42 respondents answered this question (14 organisations and 28 individuals). 15 responses were generally of the view that the amendments would have a positive impact on protected characteristics and 10 did not believe it would have a negative impact. Five responses indicated they did not know how it would affect people with protected characteristics. Three of the respondents view was that the changes in regulation would have a negative impact due to increasing cost, with one citing it would result in "non-viable business". The remaining respondents did not give clear reasoning on whether the changes would impact people with protected characteristics.
Question 7: The Fairer Scotland Duty places a legal responsibility on certain public bodies in Scotland to actively consider how they can reduce inequalities caused mainly by people's financial situation. What are your views on how further regulation of independent health care in Scotland might affect this inequality?
43 respondents answered this question (13 organisations and 30 individuals).
There was no consensus between respondents to this question. Nine felt the amendments would have a positive impact, 8 felt there would be no impact or at least not have a negative impact, and 9 felt there might be a possibility of some disadvantage based on increasing fees being "passed on to the users/patients".
Question 8: What are your views on how further regulation of independent health care in Scotland might affect access to safe, high-quality public services in island communities?
40 respondents answered this question (13 organisations and 27 individuals).
There was specific mention by 14 respondents that healthcare access should be equal across the entirety of Scotland. Nine respondents believed the amendments will improve safety, with one stating that "regulation will provide the necessary accountability to ensure that services available to consumers in remote, rural and island communities are safe and of high quality, with an appropriate complaints system in place". Ten respondents did not believe the amendments would impact island communities at all, and only 3 felt it would impact them negatively. Those that believed it would have a negative impact cited HIS' high costs limiting access to services for remote communities, online GPs pushing physically-based GPs away from islands, and "further regulation would just make it more difficult to access healthcare in island communities".
Question 9: What are your views on how further regulation of independent health care in Scotland might affect respecting, protecting and fulfilling the rights of children and young people as set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child?
37 respondents answered this question (12 organisations and 25 individuals).
Of those who responded, 26 were of the view that the amendments would have a positive impact on the rights of children and young people or no negative impact. Other respondents were unsure if there would be any impact.
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