Ultrasound Scanner (60th Anniversary)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 11th December 2018.

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Photo of John Scott John Scott Conservative

I declare an interest as a livestock farmer.

I congratulate Angela Constance on securing today’s debate.

Along with others, I pay tribute to Professor Ian Donald, John MacVicar, Tom Brown, Dugald Cameron and John Fleming. To say that the use of ultrasound in scanning techniques has been one of the great inventions of my lifetime is a statement of fact and not an exaggeration in any way. Today, the Parliament must take the opportunity to mark this massive Scottish achievement.

Professor Ian Donald’s pioneering work is credited with inventing the technique, which has so benefited mankind. As other members have said, more than 8.7 million scans take place annually in the UK, and many tens of millions more are carried out worldwide. Today, however, I pay tribute to Dugald Cameron, who was at the heart of making that early equipment work, and I welcome him and others to the public gallery.

Dugald is, I believe, the only one of the early pioneering team alive today. I have known him for at least 15 years, and had always believed his passions to be aircraft, trains and painting. I was unaware until recently of his part in developing ultrasound scanning techniques. He is one of the most modest men that one will ever meet, but also one of the most talented, so it comes as no real surprise to me to learn that he had a hand in developing ultrasound.

Ultrasound scanning has played a large part in my life as a farmer—I was an early adopter of ultrasound scanning of pregnant sheep and cattle. If tens of millions of people globally are scanned for a variety of medical reasons, members can be assured that many tens of millions of sheep, cattle, horses, dogs, cats, pigs and other animals are also scanned. The invention has not only hugely benefited human health but massively enhanced livestock production techniques and veterinary medicine.

I am privileged to know Dugald Cameron and to have benefited personally from the scanning techniques that he and others developed. I commend the motion to Parliament.