THE quest by the Dunfermline North councillor Gavin Ellis to have Scottish Government Health Minister Jeane Freeman consider the lack of A&E facilities in a rapidly growing population is a very valid one.

When it was first mooted, way back almost 20 years ago, that the plans were to centralise A&E at the Victoria Hospital there were real concerns that this was not good enough for a county then of over 300,000 people.

Since these far off days every community has grown in size and population and the part of Fife running from Kincardine to Cardenden has vastly increased in the number of people living in it.

Dunfermline has seen its Duloch estate grow to the size of a small town and there are plans passed to see 2,000 houses built at the area between McKane Park and the Rosyth Road.

Meanwhile Kelty has had plans given the green light for 900 new homes while Ballingry is seeing more than 100 homes built.

Meanwhile Lochgelly will see more than 200 new homes constructed and Cowdenbeath North has seen a huge number of new house built.

It all adds up to a huge number of people coming to live in the West Central Fife area an surely Mr Ellis is right to make the case for the Queen Margaret Hospital's A&E unit brought back into action.

He has suggested that initially that it could be on a part-time basis so clearly there is room to compromise.

But the fact is that the Vic's unit is not really equipped to deal with a population approaching 400,000.

Ms Freeman always comes over as someone who is prepared to listen to good reasoned cases so it is possible that the case for some sort of A&E provision at the Queen Margaret might win support.

It certainly makes sense because the incident where an man who fell ill outside the QMH and he had to be taken 12 miles to the Vic underlined the situation.

We await to see what the result of Mr Ellis's campaign is.