SNP accused of funding ‘con’ over GP money pledge

Picture: Callum Bennetts
Picture: Callum Bennetts
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The Scottish Conservatives have accused the SNP of a funding “con” over money pledged to GPs.

The accusation comes after GPs raised concerns with the Scottish Parliament over “confusion” surrounding a £500 million Scottish Government cash promise.

Doctors believed their campaign for 11 per cent of the health budget to be spent on GPs had worked when First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said at the SNP’s autumn conference: “By the end of this parliament, we will increase spending on primary care services to 11 per cent of the frontline NHS budget… By 2021, an extra half billion pounds will be invested in our GP practices and health centres.”

However, the Royal College of General Practitioners Scotland has pointed out that a letter sent to surgeries mentioned “an extra £250m per year by 2021” in “direct support of general practice”.

Scottish Conservative health spokesman Miles Briggs said: “This has turned into a funding con by the SNP. It’s no wonder doctors are furious.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “As the First Minister announced last year, a further £500m will be invested in primary care by the end of this parliament. This spending increase in primary care, to 11 per cent of the frontline NHS budget, will support the development of a multi-disciplinary approach, with increased staffing as well as investment in GP services and health centres.

“Health Secretary Shona Robison recently set out that £250m of this new investment will be in direct support of general practice.”