Scotland Election 2016

Holyrood election 2016: Where the parties stand on health

Voters in Scotland go to the polls on Thursday 5 May to choose their next MSPs. But where do the parties stand on key issues? Here we look at health.


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Media captionSNP leader Nicola Sturgeon makes health pledges
  • maintain free prescriptions
  • protect the NHS budget in real terms in every year of the next parliament and increase investment in the NHS by £500m more than inflation by the end of the parliament
  • establish five new elective treatment centres
  • invest at least £150m of new funding over next five years in mental health

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Media captionScottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale's pledges on health
  • increase funding for the NHS each year of the next parliament in real terms
  • invest £500m into primary care health services over the next five years
  • guarantee every Scot an appointment, with "the most appropriate health care professional", at a General Practice surgery within 48 hours
  • "soft opt-out" organ donation system where adult body parts are automatically available for transplant unless the person objected during their lifetime

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Media captionScottish Conservative Party leader Ruth Davidson makes pledges on health
  • phase in prescription charges building to the sum of £8.40, to raise £65m by the end of the parliament
  • a new NHS guarantee whereby spending rises by whatever is highest - inflation; 2% or by the extra funding coming from Westminster,
  • a full review of every one of the 40 centrally-set targets for NHS services
  • an additional £300m should be invested in improving mental health treatment over the next parliament

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Media captionScottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie makes pledges on health
  • changing the law to put mental health on the same statutory footing as physical health and double funding for Child & Adult Mental Health services
  • introduce a mental health "rapid reaction force", providing full-time 24/7 cover in police divisions and A&E department
  • recruit, retain and train more GPs
  • commit to funding the Scottish NHS so that it stays ahead of inflation and keeps pace with funding in the rest of the UK

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Media captionScottish Green leader Patrick Harvie on health
  • a "Living Wage Plus" of £9 an hour for social care staff
  • push for a levy on retailers and caterers who choose to promote too much poor quality food
  • funding for NHS in Scotland increased to take account of "health time-bomb"
  • 50% increase in the Carer's Allowance to "recognise the value of unpaid care"

  • bring back the State Enrolled Nurse and fund a return to practice training for those who have taken a career break
  • give mental health parity with physical health and increase mental health resources in the justice system
  • reduce political interference in the NHS
  • protect the NHS from TTIP