This publication is the first in a series, setting out our strategic vision for our genomics future. The Scottish Government is committed to the development of genomic medicine and the use of genetic information to improve the health and wellbeing of people living in Scotland. This was made clear in our commitment to ‘Genome UK: The Future of Healthcare’ back in September 2020.
Over the next 18 months we will publish a series of documents setting out how we will deliver genetic services which will not only allow us to treat disease but prevent ill health before the prevalence of symptoms. This is crucial to our future but also our immediate recovery priorities.
It is important to recognise that we start this journey with considerable expertise to draw upon. This was evident by our ability to stand up SARS-CoV2 pathogen sequencing services at short notice to support our response to the pandemic.
Outwith this service, Scottish physicians and scientists have been actively participating in the advancement of genomic medicine over the past three decades. We have a great foundation to build upon within our NHS laboratory network but it’s important that these laboratories are fit for the future, as we know genomic medicine is on a steep trajectory.
To achieve our ambition of having a genomics ecosystem with the infrastructure to support it will require investment in rapidly evolving technologies, skills and facilities. We will need to be innovative and adaptive to change, working collaboratively through the triple helix approach with academia, industry and the public sector to harness the opportunities at our disposal and deliver an integrated approach to genomics across Scotland.
Humza Yousaf MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care
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