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Briggs Slams SNP Health Budget for Lack of Funding and Lack of Foresight

News Release from Miles Briggs MSP:

Briggs Slams SNP Health Budget for Lack of Funding and Lack of Foresight

Miles Briggs spoke today in the Stage 3 Budget debate on the impact of the budget on NHS Lothian. Main points included:

Since the UK Conservative Government took the decision to protect health spending, this has amounted to £2.154 billion extra since 2011/2012 for our Scottish NHS.

While health spending in England increased by around 10% between 2012/13 and 2016/17, it has only increased in Scotland by around 5%.

Political choices made by SNP Ministers mean that had health spending here kept pace with England, then Scotland’s NHS would have around £1 billion more right now.

On social and elderly residential care which is experiencing a recruitment crisis that is having a devastating impact on service provision in my Lothian Region, there is no recognition in this budget of the crisis facing the sector.

The social care system in Edinburgh is on its knees with more than 1000 vulnerable people waiting for an assessment, another 1000 waiting for social care having been assessed, with many hundreds of these having been assessed more than a year ago, and delayed discharges consistently the worst in Scotland.

The number who require intensive levels of support will increase by 60% and the number of people living with dementia is projected to increase by 25% over the next 10 years to 10,000, and in 20 years to rise by 65% to 13,000 people.

Miles Briggs comments:

“Scotland’s lower increase on health spending compared to NHS England is not due to an an overall squeeze on the Scottish Budget, but by the priority choices of SNP Ministers, who have given less of a priority to spending in health services than to their budget as a whole.

“This SNP Budget doesn’t offer any long term thinking to address the ever increasing demands on our social care system which already cannot cope with the current levels of demand.

“I believe this budget will go down as another staging post in the journey of the public losing faith in this SNP Government, from their mismanagement of our public services to their seemingly indifference to wanting to create the positive environment to grow our economy.

“In the coming years we will see increasing numbers of people find they are paying more and more to receive less.”

ENDs…

Miles Briggs