Douglas Ross (pictured) has been challenged to “come clean” on which NHS Scotland frontline services would face the chop under Tory plans for £600million of cuts.
Yesterday, the Scottish Tory leader admitted his party would make £600million of “efficiencies” cuts from “other parts of the NHS” to fund his manifesto commitments, but refused to say where the axe will fall.
It is the equivalent of:
15,000 WTE qualified nurses and midwives – almost a quarter of the total 46,000 WTE workforce
25% of the total budget for medicines and medicinal supplies (approx £2.4billion)
6% of the combined staff and medicines budget for NHS Scotland
On top of that, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has confirmed that the Tory manifesto underfunds all of their pledges on the NHS by up to £1billion.
In contrast, the SNP has pledged to increase the NHS budget by at least 20% (£2.5billion) and increase the social care budget by at least 25% (£840million) – with the Tories failing to offer a single extra penny for social care, despite the pandemic.
The SNP funding commitments will increase staffing and deliver SNP policies such as increasing mental health spending by 25%, delivering a network of fast track cancer diagnostic centres in every health board area, delivering a 4% pay rise for NHS staff, and creating a National Care Service for Scotland.
Commenting, Shirley-Anne Somerville said:
“Douglas Ross must come clean on which NHS Scotland services would face the chop under Tory plans for a staggering £600million of cuts.
“The Tories tried to pull the wool over Scotland’s eyes, claiming £600m of additional investment, only to have to admit their plans involve £600m of so-called efficiencies “from other parts of the NHS”.
“Simply put the Tory plan is to ask the NHS to do more with less.
“Their cuts plan is the equivalent of 15,000 qualified nurses and midwives, or a quarter of the total budget for medicine.
“The Tory threat to Scotland’s NHS is growing.
“Boris Johnson is underfunding the NHS in England and Brexit trade deals could see an increase in creeping privatisation.
“The Tories simply cannot be trusted with our NHS.
“In contrast, the SNP will increase NHS and social care budgets, establish a National Care Service, increase mental health and cancer treatment spending, abolish NHS dentistry charges and deliver a 4% pay rise for NHS staff.
“By casting both votes for the SNP on 6th May we can re-elect Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister and put strengthening Scotland’s NHS at the heart of our national recovery plan.”