Wednesday, January 22, 2020
The skye times mobile

A 91-year-old lady has shared her memories of a pre-NHS Skye.

An Acarsaid resident, Catherine (Katie) Matheson, related: “The family were delighted when the NHS started, as we no longer had to pay and we got better care."

The NHS came into being 70 years ago on 5th July 1948.

Katie, originally from Waternish, said it cost her family four shillings, or around £7 in today's money, every time they called a doctor out.


Katie stated: “I had asthma, so saw the doctor every three weeks or so as a child. It got better and left me when I turned 17.

“The doctor had a car, but the nurse had to go on her rounds on a bicycle. Eventually, though, she got a motorbike."

Katie said: "There was a person we called the Inspector of the Poor who would come round to see if you were well or not. And who could issue food vouchers and the like if we needed them. We didn’t have to pay for this.

“And it was the women of the village who would help if someone had a baby. It was only after the NHS began that we started seeing the midwives coming round."

Katie's story can be read here.

Photograph above from NHS Highland website: Katie with staff from the An Acarsaid care home is Katie Matheson and her great grand nephews; John and Lachlan, who are over visiting with their parents from Ireland.

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