FMQs: 'There will not be a two-tier health service' says Nicola Sturgeon as NHS row dominates

Questions over the NHS and a two tier row dominated First Minister’s Questions as both the Scottish Conservatives and Scottish Labour quizzed Nicola Sturgeon over a report which showed NHS leaders had held "secret talks about privatising parts of the NHS".

Scottish leaders discussed a two-tier health system where people would have to pay for treatment and prescription

Douglas Ross hit out at the prospect of a two-tier NHS after leaked minutes from a meeting seen by the BBC claimed that health chiefs had held "secret talks about privatising parts of the NHS" with the Conservative leader saying: "These plans are completely against the founding principles of our NHS."

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He quizzed Nicola Sturgeon on the health service saying: “If the First Minister is to be believed, NHS chiefs are not listening to the health secretary and going off to try and fix the NHS on their own.

A row over an NHS report dominated FMQsA row over an NHS report dominated FMQs
A row over an NHS report dominated FMQs

“Is this not just another confirmation that Humza Yousaf is out of control with Scotland's NHS?”

“The First Minister has rubbished this meeting of NHS chiefs. She says they're completely wrong. They're apparently acting on their own without ministerial direction. But the reports clearly state NHS chiefs are worried about the prospect of a ‘two-tier’ NHS.”

The First Minister hit back saying that the principles of the NHS were "not up for debate" adding that she was aware of the "very significant pressure" facing health services worldwide but added that the process to "redesign and reform" would "take place - for as long as I have got anything to do with it - within the confines of these founding principles"

She added: "It is bold for a Conservative to come here and talk about privatisation of the NHS.

“The Tories have done more than any other party in these islands to privatise the NHS.

"NHS leaders, as much as I respect them, do not make government policy - the government makes policy.

The founding principles of our NHS, which this government has done so much to protect and enhance, are not and never will be for discussion."

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Labour leader Anas Sarwar also questioned the First Minister on private health care treatments being undertaken in the Scottish health service, stating that “under the SNP healthcare was already a two tier system”