Vote YES to save our NHS

Rutherglen Reformer - - You Decide -

Bob Doris MSP has urged Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang res­i­dents to vote Yes to de­fend the NHS

As deputy con­vener of the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment’s Health Com­mit­tee, I know very well the pres­sures faced by staff in our NHS. There are more doc­tors and nurses than be­fore but with an age­ing pop­u­la­tion pres­sure con­tinue to grow de­spite the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment en­sur­ing a real term bud­get in­crease and re­ject­ing plans for pri­vati­sa­tion of NHS ser­vices un­like Eng­land.

Whilst pre­scrip­tions are free in Scot­land, the ill in Eng­land are taxed over £8 each on ev­ery item and ev­ery time they need medicine.

How­ever Scot­land’s NHS is not im­mune from West­min­ster’s pri­vati­sa­tion agenda. The way Scot­land is funded un­der de­vo­lu­tion puts our NHS di­rectly in the fir­ing line.

The new UK Health Act is es­ti­mated to ‘save’ the English NHS £1billion a yyear as it opens their NHS to pri­vati­sa­tion (UK Gov­ern­ment fig­ures, g not my own). That means between now and 2020, £600m will be cut from Scot­land’s bud­get. That’s the prob­lem.

Ev­ery time a right-wing UK Gov­ern­ment de­cides to cut cash south of the bor­der, the Bar­nett For­mula dic­tates that Scot­land’s bud­get gets slashed. As the English NHS is ripped apart to ac­com­mo­date pri­vate in­ter­ests, less money comes to Scot­land. That puts Scot­land’s NHS di­rectly at risk if we re­main tied to West­min­ster with its un­healthy ob­ses­sion to cut public ex­pen­di­ture and ex­tend pri­vati­sa­tion.

Don’t just take my word for it - Andy Burn­ham, Labour’s UK health spokesper­son agrees.

He said: “NHS pri­vati­sa­tion is now pro­ceed­ing at pace and scale as com­mis­sion­ers are forced to put ser­vices out to the mar­ket.”

Labour’s Welsh Assem­bly Health Min­is­ter Mark Drake­ford said: “The fun­da­men­tal is­sue… is the im­pact on public ser­vices in Wales of the cuts be­ing made by ad­min­is­tra­tion in West­min­ster, and passed down to Wales.”

In­deed, Scot­tish Labour in 2010 agreed as they ar­gued that the Tory agenda would: “slash fund­ing for schools and hos­pi­tals.”

Yet to­day Labour are cam­paign­ing in Scot­land joined at the hip with the Tories as part of the No campaign. English and Welsh Labour don’t be­lieve the NHS is safe, and Scot­tish Labour didn’t at the last UK elec­tion. To claim that de­vo­lu­tion can pro­tect Scot­land’s NHS from West­min­ster cuts is fun­da­men­tally de­ceit­ful and is to ig­nore the lim­i­ta­tions of de­vo­lu­tion.

Con­trast the loom­ing threat to Scot­land’s NHS with a No vote with the pos­i­tive out­look of an In­de­pen­dent Scot­land. The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has pledged to in­crease public ex­pen­di­ture by three per cent af­ter in­de­pen­dence to pro­tect public ser­vices, help the most vul­ner­a­ble and boost our econ­omy.

We are in a strong fi­nan­cial po­si­tion to do so with Scot­land con­tribut­ing £8.3bil­lion more to the UK than we got back in the last five years. We can use Scot­land’s re­sources to meet Scot­land’s pri­or­i­ties.

It’s not just £600mil­lion cuts head­ing to the NHS with a No vote. All UK par­ties have signed up to an ad­di­tional £25bil­lion cuts. They have agreed that Scot­land should be dis­pro­por­tion­ately tar­geted.

The UK All Party Group on tax de­manded a “hefty cull” of Scot­land’s bud­get and sug­gested that could be £4bil­lion. It is in­creas­ingly clear that if we want Scot­land’s Par­lia­ment to be able to con­tinue to fully sup­port good qual­ity, pub­li­cally funded ser­vices, only a Yes vote can se­cure that.

When vot­ers go to the polls on Septem­ber 18, I firmly be­lieve that one rea­son to vote Yes is to de­fend our NHS.”

Tak­ing to the streets Lo­cal Yes sup­port­ers cam­paign­ing in Cam­bus­lang

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.