MSP reacts to ‘dishonest, desperate and disgraceful’ nationalist claims over future of Scotland’s NHS

Jim Hume, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for South Scotland and health spokesperson has branded the SNP dishonest, desperate and disgraceful amid their recent claims that the NHS is under threat from privatisation.

In a statement the MSP said: “Founded on the principles that it should meet the needs of everyone, that it should be free at the point of delivery, and that it should be based on clinical need not the ability to pay, the NHS remains a source of pride in which each and every one of us has a stake.

“For the Nationalists to claim that they are under threat is dishonest, desperate and disgraceful. It is also factually wrong.

“Despite the financial pressure of the global financial crisis, the NHS budget has been protected and NHS funding in England is now £12.7 billion higher than it was in 2010.

“Private sector involvement in England’s NHS is paid for with public money, meaning that the cash equivalent is protected for Scotland – and the Scottish Government can spend it however they see fit.

“But five weeks out from the independence referendum, and the SNP has suddenly started to pretend that funding is in doubt.

“People are worried about the impact independence would have on their public services – the Nationalists know this and they are trying to distract attention with bluster and lies.

“Public spending per head is higher, and Scots will be better off to the tune of £1400 a year each by staying in the UK family.

“That means that an independent Scotland would be faced with a mix of tax hikes and public spending cuts - and NHS funding would be in the firing line.

“Since the NHS was established in 1948, it has been a source of unity, not division.

“We must not let the Nationalists change that by denigrating this fine institution and its hard working staff by using it as a pawn in their political scare tactics.”