WESTMINSTER CONTROL RISKS MORE CUTS TO SCOTTISH BUDGET
Gordon MP Richard Thomson has condemned calls from former Conservative UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid for patients to be charged a fee to see their GP or use Accident and Emergency.
Mr Thomson said the SNP Scottish Government was committed to an NHS free at the point of use, and would strongly oppose calls from Conservatives to charge patients to use the NHS in Scotland - with Mr Javid suggesting patients should be charged £20 to see a GP and £66 to attend A&E.
The SNP MP said Westminster plans to impose NHS charges, creeping privatisation, and cuts would result in cuts to Scotland’s budget, starving vital public services of funding - and said independence is the only way to fully protect Scotland’s public services.
It comes as the Chief Executive of the Nuffield Trust, Nigel Edwards, warned against introducing charges as "the problem is it reduces [demand] for both appropriate and inappropriate care — people don’t know if their condition is trivial or serious but they do know they need to pay... Those people who do need treatment then turn up later with a later stage of disease, so in cost-effectiveness terms it’s penny-wise but pound-foolish."
Commenting, Richard Thomson MP said:
"The Scottish Government is absolutely committed to the founding principle that our NHS is free at the point of use - and the SNP will always defend that principle.
"These dangerous Conservative proposals show that public services are at risk under Westminster control. While health is devolved, any Westminster NHS charges, creeping privatisation, and cuts in England would mean cuts to Scotland’s budget.
"Despite the damage inflicted by Brexit and thirteen years of Tory cuts, the SNP has protected Scotland's NHS by delivering higher health spending, higher staffing, more GPs and nurses, scrapping prescription charges, and ensuring an NHS free at the point of use. But with the London-based parties both wedded to Brexit and creeping privatisation – it’s clear that our public services will only be fully protected with independence.”
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