Scottish National Party (SNP) Media Release:

Today’s revelations of the crisis in the health service south of the border confirm that only a Yes vote can save Scotland’s NHS from the disastrous impact of Westminster’s cuts and privatisation agenda.

An investigation reported in today’s edition of the Sun has found that the NHS south of the border is at “breaking point” – and highlights the role played by Westminster’s budget cuts.

Today’s report follows on from a warning by Dr Philippa Whitford – one of Scotland’s top breast cancer surgeons – that a Yes vote in September is the only way to protect Scotland’s NHS budget from Westminster’s cuts agenda.

The Nuffield Trust think tank has also previously warned that the NHS in England may no longer be free at the point of use in ten years – echoing previous concerns raised by Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham who said that the UK Government’s “mission to run down the National Health Service” could see an end to free universal healthcare.

While the SNP has protected Scotland’s health service in government, it is estimated that 50 per cent of the NHS in England will be run by private companies by 2020 – the consequences of which would see massive cuts in the Scottish budget, putting vital services at risk.

In contrast, the Scottish Government is clear that after a Yes vote, the NHS in Scotland will remain in public hands – delivering high quality care free at the point of need.

Commenting, SNP MSP Aileen McLeod said:

“This report is a damning indictment of the Tories’ dismantling of the NHS south of the border – and is a stark reminder of the damage Westminster’s cuts and privatisation agenda could inflict on our NHS in the event of a No vote.

“By 2020, around half of the NHS in England will be run by private companies – but people in Scotland totally reject Westminster’s ideological obsession with privatisation.

“With devolved powers over health, the Scottish Parliament has managed to protect our NHS from the Tories’ privatisation agenda – but the consequential cuts to the Scottish budget from Westminster in the event of a No vote would put real pressure on our NHS.

“After a Yes vote we will ensure that not only will Tory privatisation of the health service be stopped at the border – but that our NHS remains properly funded and stays true to its founding principle of delivering first class healthcare free at the point of need.”