Humza Yousaf MSP was appointed as Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care in the Scottish Government, as part of a post-election reshuffle. He replaced Jeane Freeman, who chose not to stand in the Scottish Parliament election.

The College is looking forward to working with Mr Yousaf, to take forward its health policy priorities for Scotland.

Professor Angela Thomas, acting president of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, said:

We welcome the appointment of Humza Yousaf as Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care. We look forward to working with him at a time when healthcare faces enormous challenges, not least health service recovery from COVID-19.

Our policy priorities for the Scottish Parliament election called for action on a range of areas including health service recovery and re-design, workforce planning and training, public health and wellbeing, and health and social care integration.

In particular, we want to see bold action on drug-related deaths, action to support long-COVID patients, the removal of barriers to exercise, and the introduction of a Bill to restrict price promotions on food and drink high in fat, salt and sugar, which has been much-delayed.

The next 5 years must be about recovery, improving the health of the nation, and ensuring that care is person-centred with human rights and equity at its heart.