The SNP is highlighting comments from the Scottish Secretary acknowledging that the NHS budget in England has an impact on Scotland.
On last Thursday’s BBC Good Morning Scotland, Alistair Carmichael was asked: “But the NHS budget in England does affect Scotland doesn’t it?…” to which he replied: “That is why we’ve always voted on it.”
However, throughout the referendum campaign, the No camp continually attempted to deny there was a link – despite a raft of evidence to the contrary.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon stated that SNP MPs elected in May will be prepared to vote for a Bill to reverse privatisation and restore the NHS in England – in a move that represents “enlightened self-interest” for Scotland.
The current agenda of cuts, privatisation and patient charging in the NHS in England threatens to harm Scotland’s budget. Voting to restore the NHS south of the border would help to safeguard the Scottish budget.
Welsh Labour Health Minister Mark Drakeford, Welsh Labour First Minister Carwyn Jones, and public sector union UNISON, have all previously raised concerns about the impact of cuts and privatisation on the devolved nations.
Professor Allyson Pollock, Professor of Public Health Research and Policy, is campaigning for an NHS Reinstatement Bill 2015, which would reinstate the government’s legal duty to provide the NHS in England. The SNP are indicating support for this campaign, stating a Bill to restore the English NHS would be good for England and Scotland alike.
Commenting, SNP MSP Bob Doris, who sits on the Health Committee, said:
“This is a significant admission from Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael. Throughout the referendum campaign, the No camp flatly denied the link between the English NHS and Scottish budgets.
“After refusing to acknowledge the impact the NHS budget in England has on Scotland, Mr Carmichael has admitted that the agenda of NHS privatisation, cuts and patient charging south of the border has consequences for Scotland.
“As long this agenda is being pursued by the Tories south of the border, the threat to the Scottish budget remains. Yesterday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon stated that SNP MPs at Westminster will vote for a Bill to restore the NHS in England. Not only will this protect the NHS in Scotland – it will also give people in England their NHS back.
“A strong team of SNP MPs at Westminster will do everything possible to protect Scotland from the impact of Tory plans to dismantle the NHS in England. And if SNP MPs hold the balance of power at Westminster, we can further progressive politics across the UK and help to put the NHS in England back into public hands.”
Vote for your candidate Steven Paterson for Stirling this May to join a strong team of SNP MPs defending the NHS.