However, the 2m of planned savings from the 28 million distinction awards scheme for NHS consultants was described as a "sop" by Liberal Democrat finance spokesman Jeremy Purvis.
As of September last year, 578 consultants received awards, equal to 12 per cent of the total working in Scottish hospitals.
The scheme's proposed budget for 2011-12 will be 26 million, the first annual decrease since devolution, according to the Scottish Government. Awards will not be offered to anyone in 2011-12 and a freeze on existing payments will be continued for the scheme, which has existed since the NHS was founded more than 60 years ago.
Mr Purvis said: "Trimming 2m off a 28m bonus pot is not tough action on bonuses, it's a sop."
Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: "It is no longer possible to justify paying significant bonuses even to highly skilled members of the NHS workforce."