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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-13837: Michelle Ballantyne (South Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 12 January 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the reported comments by the chairman of BMA Scotland that there is a need for funding and a long-term plan for the NHS to make the service sustainable.

Answered by: Shona Robison 24 January 2018

As announced in the Draft Budget on 14 December 2017, the health resource budget will increase by over £400 million to £13.1 billion in 2018-19. We have prioritised investment in frontline services, and total additional funding for our frontline NHS Boards will amount to £354 million. This is part of our commitment to deliver an increase in the NHS revenue budget of £2 billion by the end of this parliament.

These increases have only been made possible, without impacting on other public services, through the progressive tax policies set out in the Draft Budget. Our estimate is that Conservative tax policies would have resulted in a reduction in the Scottish Government’s resource budget of £501 million in 2018-19, meaning less funding for the NHS.

The additional funding set out in the Draft Budget is provided as part of our twin approach of investment and reform, recognising the increasing demand and expectations placed upon our frontline services and being clear that the status quo is not an option. As set out in our response to S5W-12317 on 20 November 2017, we published the Health & Social Care Delivery Plan in December 2016 which sets out an ambitious programme of change to deliver better health, better care and better value, and to ensure our services are sustainable. As part of the Delivery Plan, we are working to develop a medium term financial framework, within the context of the budget settlement that the Scottish Government receives.

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