The Scottish government has unveiled a consultation document that could eventually lead to direct elections to health boards in the country.
Members of the public will be asked over the next three months whether the plans are a good idea, and if so how the polls should be conducted.
They will also be questioned on whether members should be paid, and if so how much.
Launching the exercise, health secretary Nicola Sturgeon (pictured above, right) said: "I still think there is a very strong case for having a majority of members elected.
"But we are a minority government and we recognise there are a range of views.
"I think it's right that we listen to opinion and seek to garner points of view across the spectrum before we come to a definitive decision.
"After all, we have to get anything we want to do through the Parliament in the form of legislation."
She added: "I think it's very important that the public's voice is heard more loudly when decisions about the NHS are taken.
"There is a variety of ways we can ensure that's the case, and one of those ways is to have members directly elected on to health boards.
"I think in principle that's right, but there are some practical issues of implementation that we want to consult further on."
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