Labour Without One Coherent Policy on The NHS

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Monday July 17 2017

Scottish Labour challenged on support for extreme Tory Brexit.

Deputy Convener of Holyrood’s Health Committee, Clare Haughey MSP has challenged Scottish Labour to come up with at least “one single coherent health policy” for Scotland and to speak out against Jeremy Corbyn’s support for a Tory hard Brexit.

The NHS in Scotland already benefits from record high funding and staffing – and the SNP is committed to increasing these levels further – however the economic slowdown and recruitment problems resulting from Brexit pose significant challenges.

Since coming to office ten years ago, the SNP has ensured that the NHS remained in public hands, opposing Labour’s private finance initiatives (PFIs) and creeping privatisation of our NHS from the outset.

Commenting, Deputy Convener of Holyrood’s Health committee Clare Haughey MSP said:

“The SNP is investing record levels of funding in our NHS and spending an additional £2 billion by the end of this parliament to keep on improving our NHS.

“NHS Scotland also benefits from record levels of staffing – with the recent Nuffield Trust report showing that Scotland’s nurse vacancy rate is less than half that of England and Wales, and that health services in the rest of the UK could learn from our approach to health and social care integration and tackling health inequalities.

“But Scottish Labour need to say unequivocally where they stand in terms of Jeremy Corbyn’s support for the Tories’ hard Brexit, and the untold damage this will do to the NHS.

“Do Labour in Scotland also support the mad rush towards the cliff edge of an extreme Brexit – or will they have the courage to disagree with their Westminster bosses and stand up for Scotland’s best interests?

“The fact is, Labour are yet to come up with at least one single coherent health policy for Scotland.

“It was Labour that began the creeping privatisation of the NHS in Scotland and the SNP that ended it, starting with Stracathro hospital in Angus that we immediately brought back into public hands after Labour privatised it in Government.

“While the Tory Chancellor in Westminster claims that public sector staff are “overpaid” – the SNP in Scotland is ensuring the real living, wage is paid to our hardworking public-sector staff.

“We recognise the challenges that lie ahead and the work that needs to be done and our commitment to the future of our NHS in Scotland is unwavering.”

 

 

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