A CAMPAIGNER desperate to see a replacement health centre built in Kincardine wrote to Scotland's new health minister within an hour of his appointment being announced.

Donald Campbell, chairperson of Kincardine Community Council, contacted Neil Gray MSP asking for a meeting following the resignation of Michael Matheson from the position earlier this month.

The community stalwart has said that visiting the current facility is like "walking into your granny's house" and said improvements are desperately needed.

"There's the magnolia walls, all the original plasterboard, the doctor's waiting room is the old rooms. It is like going back in time," he said.

READ MORE: MSP slams funding delays for Kincardine health centre

"Don't get me wrong, the place is clean and all that kind of thing, but the equipment is dated, there is only one phone line. It takes forever to get through. For example, one person waited for 70 minutes before giving up.

"I have been in contact with the practice manager throughout. They had to fight to get some painting done inside the building as it doesn't just happen automatically. One of the reasons is they are told they are getting a new health centre so why should we spend the money."

Mr Campbell has vowed to keep putting pressure on until essential funding is provided.

"I have contacted everyone I can in the way of MPs and MSPs to help and have cross party support. Everyone says it is ridiculous," he said. "It is a waiting game but pressure is being put on from within and outwith the government."

Having emailed Neil Gray's office within an hour of his appointment, he is still waiting for a reply.

"I haven't got a response yet, just the usual we will get back to you within 20 days," he added.

READ MORE: Kincardine residents plan to keep fighting for new health centre

A new Kincardine health centre has been in the pipeline for several years with the existing facility deemed not fit for purpose.

Plans had been developed but hopes were dashed last year when the Scottish Government revealed that they were delaying their funding until “the second half of the decade” because it was no longer a priority.

Earlier this month, a Scottish Government spokesperson said a revised investment plan will be published in the Spring which will identify potential projects.

“As set out in our draft budget, the capital funding position is extremely challenging," they said.

"The UK Government did not inflation-proof its capital budget which has resulted in nearly a 10 per cent real-terms cut in the Scottish Government’s capital funding over the medium-term between 2023-24 and 2027-28.

"Our emphasis for the immediate future will be on addressing backlog maintenance and essential equipment replacement.

“Our Infrastructure Investment Plan (2021-22 to 2025-26) identified the priority health capital projects for funding within that period.

"As a result of the cut in our capital budget, a revised Infrastructure Investment Plan will be published in Spring 2024 and all due consideration will be given to what projects can be included within that revised Plan.

"In the interim, boards have also been advised to pause any new capital projects.”