Another damning report on the state of Scotland’s health service (Scotsman leader, 26 October), and once again the Scottish Conservative health spokesman Miles Briggs jumps on the passing bandwagon.
On the same day a report has been released south of the Border saying that bedblocking in the NHS has increased by 40 per cent in the last year, and is estimated to result in as many as 8,000 deaths annually. On some days patients are taking up 6,000 beds they no longer need for hospital treatment.
The problem is the lack of co-ordination between the NHS and local councils who have responsibility for social care. And more specifically, the problem is that Mr Briggs’ Conservative Party is underfunding the NHS and has cut council budgets, in the name of austerity.
We spend much less on our health service in this country than most other EU countries. The service that our NHS professionals provide is second to none. But the NHS is underfunded. The Lib Dems are proposing an extra penny on Income Tax, with the extra £6 billion going to the NHS.
In 2001, Gordon Brown increased National Insurance by 1 per cent, with the proceeds committed to the NHS. We need this again, and more.
Instead of Miles Briggs constantly carping every time problems are identified, it is about time he realised that his party are the problem and the only solution. He should be working with Ruth Davidson’s dozen Tory MPs and persuading the Chancellor to increase funding for the NHS in the budget, with extra resources for Scotland’s NHS coming through the Barnett formula.
Phil Tate, Edinburgh
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