After the Tory Budget failed to deliver the NHS funding consequentials that should have come to Scotland last week, SNP MSPs demanded that the UK government pay the £54.5 million it has short-changed Scotland.
Scotland’s Health Secretary Jeane Freeman MSP expressed her discontent at the impact of the shortfall, stating:
“I am very disappointed that the UK Autumn Budget confirmed that the UK Government will deny £54.5 million to Scotland’s NHS next year and £272.5 million over the period to 2023-24. This is an insult both to our NHS and the people who depend on it.
“In addition, the UK Government has left open the possibility of NHS funding being further eroded, not least as the Chancellor has hinted at the potential of a totally revised UK Budget post-Brexit."
Ms Freeman continued:
“When I published the Waiting Times Improvement Plan, the additional funding is predicated on the UK Government making good on its June commitment on consequentials. It has already failed in the first year, but I hope that it will not fail in future years.
“We need to know from the UK Government how it will make good the shortfall and what it will do in future years, so that we can have a realistic plan going forward.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:
"Despite the Tories cutting the Scottish resource block grant over the last eight years such that it is now £1,900 million less in real terms than in 2010/11, the SNP Government has ensured that NHS Scotland has a record number of staff and record funding of more than £13,000 million this year.
“Under the UK Government’s current proposal, the £272.5 million Scotland will lose over five years is money needed to invest in front-line staff, medical equipment and enhanced facilities.
"The SNP Government is committed to channelling every single penny of health consequentials to Scotland’s health service and invests more per head on health and social care than any other UK nation.
“The UK Tory Government must deliver the funds that Scotland is due."