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
Teachers at a school in Northamptonshire made a unique farewell gift for their Year 11 leavers.
The advertising watchdog has ruled the "beach body ready" campaign was not offensive or socially irresponsible.
Britain is set for the hottest day of the year today, with temperatures forecast to hit up to 34C (93F).