Page last updated at 18:52 GMT, Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Pernicious anaemia and vitamin B12 deficiency debate

Public Petitions Committee convener David Stewart said the petition on pernicious anaemia and vitamin B12 deficiency had been lodged by Andrea MacArthur following her experience of diagnosis and treatment for the disease.

Mr Stewart, the convener of the Public Petitions Committee was leading a debate on the disease and condition on 7 March 2011.

Mrs MacArthur's petition urged the Scottish government to review and overhaul the current method of diagnosis and treatment of pernicious anaemia/vitamin B12 deficiency.

Mr Stewart quoted Ms MacArthur who said: "doctors have very little knowledge of the condition".

Concerns were raised over the blood test currently used in Scotland to diagnose the autoimmune disease.

The chamber heard there was no consensus across individual NHS boards on the test's effectiveness.

An alternative more reliable test, the active B12 test, is available in England.

Michael Matheson, public health minister, said: "We take pernicious anaemia and vitamin B12 deficiency very seriously."

The public health minister reiterated that the health care quality strategy aims to deliver health care which is person-led.

Mr Matheson said the Scottish government aims to "deliver care which is truly person-centred, safe and effective".

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