latest health care news

10.10.14

Scottish government to increase NHS funding by £288m

The Scottish government is to increase NHS funding by £288m, which will see it break £12bn for the first time, finance secretary John Swinney has announced in his first post-referendum budget.

In his budget address to the Scottish Parliament, Swinney said: “We will secure the future of the health service in public hands, with extra funding in 2015-16 bringing the total health budget to more than £12bn for the first time."

According to government figures, the additional funding will see a 2.2% increase on frontline NHS resource spending and bring the total health budget to £12.16bn.

Part of the funding will see a further £53.5m invested in Primary Care Services to promote greater integration of health and social care.

Health Secretary Alex Neil said: “Protecting front-line health services is an absolute priority of this government, and that’s why we have not only protected the NHS budget but increased it.

“This budget demonstrates that we are determined to keep the NHS in public hands and totally reject the drive towards privatisation being forced on NHS England by Westminster. It shows that we are determined to reward our hard-working NHS staff, with a modest pay rise and a living wage guarantee, both of which the UK government are not delivering south of the border.

“I am proud that we are investing more in the integration of health and social care. This the right thing to do as our health service faces the challenges of the future and is evolving to meet the changing needs of the people of Scotland.”

However the Scottish Conservatives claim the Scottish Parliament Information Service and analysis by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), show the health budget has fallen from £11.8bn to £11.6bn between 2008 and 2014.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson told the BBC: "There is no getting away from the fact that Alex Salmond has presided over cuts to Scotland's NHS.

"The independent IFS said it and now the Parliament's own, impartial information service has come to the same conclusion."

Scottish Labour also attacked the budget, saying it amounted to a real terms increase of only 1%, which is less than a quarter of the increase proposed in England.

(Image: c. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)

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