The NHS won’t be safe in Scottish Labour’s hands, South of Scotland list MSP Mike Russell warned today. And he challenged Labour to come clean about its plans to introduce NHS cutbacks.
Mr Russell was commenting on the SNP’s pledge this week to protect the Scottish NHS budget for the whole of the next Parliamentary session. The SNP also will increase resource spending in the NHS by more than £1 billion.
Over the last four years the SNP’s actions in Government have seen:
• More than 300,000 people treated at Ayr and Monklands A & E departments which Scottish Labour planned to close;
• 1 million more people registered with a dentist;
• more than 38,000 patients treated in local speciality units saved from closure by the SNP;
• 367,275 citizens paying lower prescription charges for pre-payment certificates.
“At the same time patient treatment waiting time targets are being met, and waiting times are at a record low,” said Mr Russell. “Our hospitals are also cleaner and safer.”
The SNP’s commitment to protect the NHS, he said, was in stark contrast to Labour who have repeatedly said they will not protect the health service.
Mr Russell said: “Iain Gray is clearly opposed to protecting NHS spending. Scottish Labour has repeatedly refused to back our health service. Labour’s leader and its finance team repeatedly tell us they will not protect Scotland’s health service.
“Over the last four years we have seen real improvements across the NHS. The people of Scotland have felt the very real benefit of our decisions.
“Preserving and investing in local NHS services has seen over 300,000 people treated closer to their homes and a further 367,000 benefit from a reduction in prescription charges.
“The decline of NHS dentistry has been reversed and a million more adults and children are now registered with a dentist.”
He added: “The SNP has made our commitment clear, with less than a hundred days until the election. Voters know an SNP Government working for Scotland will support Scotland’s NHS. It is time other parties made their plans equally clear.”