• Kenneth Gibson MSP

SNP: Rivals Must 'Raise Their Ambition' on Health



LABOUR PLAN TO SHORT-CHANGE SCOTLAND’S NHS BY £800 MILLION

The SNP has challenged rivals to “raise their ambition” for Scotland’s health service, after a comparison of party manifestos showed that the SNP has made far bolder commitments for the NHS than the other parties. The SNP is committed to increasing health resource investment by at least £500 million over and above real terms increases by the end of the next Parliament – almost £2,000 million of increased investment – including passing on at least the full Barnett consequentials each year. Meanwhile, Labour promises only real terms protection, meaning they would be investing less in the NHS in Scotland than George Osborne and the Tories are in England. In total, Labour is proposing to invest around £800 milion less than would go to the NHS if all Barnett consequentials were passed on over the lifetime of the Parliament. In addition, the SNP are committed to a new network of five elective treatment and an expansion of the Golden Jubilee to improve care for older people, none of which are mentioned in Labour or Tory manifestos. SNP Health Secretary Shona Robison has said that, with such a lack of ambition from Labour only a re-elected SNP Government will deliver the necessary investment and reforms to meet the future challenges of the NHS.

Ms Robison said:

“Under the SNP, Scotland’s NHS is receiving record funding, and record numbers of staff are helping to deliver some of the lowest waiting times on record. “The next few years are hugely important for the future of the NHS and it’s essential that we make the right investment and reforms to ensure we’re ready to meet future challenges. “The SNP will put almost £2,000 million of additional investment into expanding community services by the end of the parliament, boosting cancer services, supporting health and social care, increasing specialist, GP and nursing staff, and building five new treatment centres across the country. “Neither Labour nor the Tories – despite their repeated complaints about NHS funding over the last few years, are prepared to invest anything like this amount – with Labour failing even to pass on the funding that comes from NHS spending in England. “It’s little wonder that the Royal College of Nurses have said Labour’s plans fail to address the bigger decisions about the future of the health service and of course the Tories want to reintroduce prescription charges – a tax on the sick which will discourage people from receiving treatment. “The question both Labour and the Tories must answer is how they expect our health service to be ready for the challenges of the future if they are not prepared to invest in the NHS? “By giving both votes to the SNP in this election, the people of Scotland can elect a government which will give the NHS the largest possible funding increase over the next few years, making essential long-term investments to our NHS.”