SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE: Scotland’s health service will not be safe from the effects of privatisation unless a Yes vote is cast in September, First Minister Alex Salmond is set to claim today.
Speaking at an event in Liverpool, Mr Salmond is expected to say that only independence will guarantee that the NHS will be protected from the privatisation agenda south of the Border.
Healthcare in Scotland is currently a devolved issue, controlled by Holyrood.
He said that since he last spoke in Liverpool, on the BBC’s Question Time in 2011, “the process of privatisation and fragmentation” of the NHS south of the Border had continued.
“Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, with strong public finances. But under the Westminster system, cuts to spending in England automatically trigger cuts in Scotland,” he said ahead of the speech, which is expected to be one of his final public appearances south of the Border before the 18 September referendum.
“So if private money replaces public funding in England, our budget will also be slashed no matter what we want or need.”
Scottish Labour’s health spokesman Neil Findlay said: “It is a mark of how desperate the First Minister has become that he is introducing the privatisation of the NHS as a campaign issue when everyone knows it is devolved to the Scottish Parliament and the Tories can’t get their hands on our hospitals and health centres.”