Health secretary approves surgical changes at NHS Tayside
The chances will see all emergency surgery moved to Ninewells Hospital.
The newly appointed health secretary has approved major changes to surgical services in NHS Tayside.
Jeane Freeman said the proposals put forward by the health board would result in a safer service.
The changes will see all emergency surgery moved to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, while Perth Royal Infirmary will have an expanded service for planned surgery for patients with cancer and other conditions.
The Stracathro Regional Treatment Centre will treat day and short stay patients.
The changes follow problems with staff shortages at Perth Royal Infirmary.
Ms Freeman, who was required to sign off on the plans as they involve major changes, insisted the A&E department at Perth hospital will be retained.
She said: "NHS Tayside has made a compelling case for these proposals, which are supported by clinicians, in order to deliver the best care possible.
"I'm pleased that the board has engaged with local people on the proposals and I have been clear that I expect this engagement to continue - particularly with the Scottish Ambulance Service, planning partners and third sector organisations.
"I also expect the board to keep people in Tayside informed of progress and timescales for implementation of these changes.
"I recognise the concerns expressed during the public consultation process of a potential impact on the accident and emergency department at the Perth Royal Infirmary.
"I have been clear that an absolute condition of agreeing to these proposals is that the A&E at the PRI will be retained and continue to serve the people of Perthshire.
"Implementing these proposals will provide the people of Tayside with a safer, higher quality surgical service, whilst also minimising the risk of cancelled procedures.
"As such, I believe these proposals are in the best interests of the people of Tayside."