Now, NHS24 in a spectacular piece of empire building, have suggested that they take over daytime calls to free up GPs for evening work, so that the Executive can meet their promise of extending access hours for the public.
Having had experience of NHS24, I can advise that it involves phoning a nurse who takes the details and promises to get someone to phone you back. Eventually - if you are lucky - you get a call telling you to go to A&E at the Lewis Hospital. Of last three times we had to call, twice we never got a call back, and had to chase the phone line after a couple of hours, and the third time we gave up and went to A&E. When we got home, we were called to ask for further information to allow them to give us advice. We played along, and the advice was to "Go to A&E".
With the GPs having negotiated a very nice package, thank you very much, are they likely to give up their £1,000 (yes! £1,000) per day payment for sitting at the hospital in A&E waiting for NHS24 rejects to work in evenings and at weekends without another 'enhancement'?
So, having shown their hand, look forward to the Executive being completely and utterly on the back-foot as they open negotiations with the medical profession in a desperate attempt to meet a specific election promise.
And a poorer service for the rest of us, as the money - our money - is found from core budgets. This ties in exactly with the currently proposals for the NHS in the Western Isles.