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Sandesh Gulhane: Taking up role on shadow cabinet was ‘daunting’

The Glasgow list MSP admitted that joining the front bench team was ‘a big jump’.

20 March 2022

Entering the Conservatives shadow cabinet within months of being elected was “daunting”, the party’s health spokesman, Sandesh Gulhane, has said.

The Glasgow list MSP, who was first elected in May last year, says he wants to ensure the party “gets health”.

He was a GP before becoming an MSP and still works one day each week in a clinic.

Speaking at the Scottish Conservatives conference in Aberdeen, he said frustration over poor communication with medics during the early stages of the pandemic led to him running to become an MSP.

Scottish Parliamentary Elections 2021
Sandesh Gulhane was elected in May last year (Fraser Bremner)

Dr Gulhane took up his current front bench role in September after his predecessor, Annie Wells, stepped down for health reasons.

Prior to that, he was the party’s public health spokesman.

He told the PA news agency: “It was a big jump for me. To go from nothing, to shadow cabinet in roughly four months.

“It was daunting.”

He continued: “For me, the goal has always been regardless of my position, to let people know that we as a party get health – we understand health.

“More importantly, I know the problems and I know the solutions, and we are the party of solutions.”

During his maiden speech in parliament, Dr Gulhane said he had used “PPE that put my life at risk” in the early stages of the pandemic.

Dr Gulhane said he works in his GP clinic every Monday, a profession he says he would never give up.

He said: “I love it. I’m that really annoying person that bounces in on a Monday, I’ll go in and I’m so happy.”

He continued: “It allows me to connect with patients and see what’s going on.

“It allows me to feel what’s going on. I don’t get any special treatment, I don’t get less patients.

“I am just a normal, jobbing GP. So I know what the pressures are like, I know what other doctors are feeling, I know what patients are feeling.

“I know exactly what it’s like on the ground, on the front line.”

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