Independence could be "very positive" for people's health if it left them feeling they had more control over their lives, Scotland's former top doctor said.
Sir Harry Burns, who stepped down as chief medical officer for Scotland earlier this year, also told how he feared for the NHS in England, where ministers have made "very different" decisions to Scotland.
Sir Harry's comments come less than two months before voters in Scotland decide the country's future in a referendum.
He told BBC Radio Scotland's Crossfire programme: "If people felt that they were able to engage more with local government, with central government and make choices more easily for themselves then that would improve their health."
More top news
The ex-mother-in-law of a suspect sought over the murder of West London teenager Alice Gross has spoken to ITV News.
How is Sainsbury's positioned to tackle the challenges of low-cost rivals and changing shopping habits?
The head of football's anti-discrimination body Kick It Out has responded to attacks by QPR defender Rio Ferdinand in his autobiography