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Health budget increases

Scottish health spending over £12 billion for the first time

Ahead of stage one of the budget debate today Finance Secretary John Swinney confirmed the Government’s commitment to increased funding of the NHS in Scotland as he took part in a final site visit to the new South Glasgow University Hospital.

As part of the budget process the resource health budget will increase by £380m taking it to over £12 billion for the first time. The funding increase for health will exceed the Barnett consequentials received from health consequentials in England.

Speaking ahead of the visit Mr Swinney said:

“Spending on Scotland’s health service will increase in real terms next year, taking Scottish health spending above £12 billion for the first time.

“The overall increase of £380 million in health resource spending will take the total health budget to record levels.

“The Scottish Government’s commitment to increase the NHS budget demonstrates a continuing commitment to protecting the health service, and keep it in public hands.

“The outstanding South Glasgow Hospital campus is a perfect example of how this Government has invested to ensure we have a NHS that is fit for purpose. The South Glasgow Hospital will deliver a truly gold standard of healthcare on the Govan site when it opens this summer, with maternity, children’s and adult acute hospitals, and state of the art laboratory services all together on the one campus. It will also have the biggest Critical Care complex and one of the biggest Emergency Departments in Scotland. This new 1109 bedded Adult Hospital and the 256 bedded Children’s Hospital will be the largest single NHS hospital build project in Scotland.

“This project is a great example of our joined up approach. Through investing in improving our public services we have also supported 539 new jobs and 112 Apprenticeships. The project supported engagement with over 2600 SMEs and Social Enterprises and the state of the art labs will support not just health but our fantastic technology industry. The project has also delivered a lasting legacy for communities in South Glasgow and across Greater Glasgow and Clyde through supporting community organisations by providing 1792 hours of staff volunteering time to local projects, developing over 100 community events and raising £410,000 for local good causes.

“The total cost for the campus is £842 million and this is a shining example of how this Government is prepared to invest in protecting front-line health services.

“This budget demonstrates that we are determined to keep the NHS in public hands and totally reject the drive towards privatisation being forced on NHS England by Westminster. It shows that we are determined to reward our hard-working NHS staff, with a modest pay rise and a living wage guarantee, both of which the UK Government are not delivering south of the Border.

“I am proud that we are investing more in the integration of health and social care. This the right thing to do as our health service faces the challenges of the future and is evolving to meet the changing needs of the people of Scotland.”

At Stage One of the budget Mr Swinney will also set out revised tax rates for the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax which come into force on April 1 2015.

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