Scotland Election 2016

Holyrood 2016: Leaders focus on health policies

Scotland's party leaders outlined their policies on healthcare as election campaigning continued across Scotland. The SNP was in Fife, Labour was in Paisley, the Tories in Midlothian and the Lib Dems in Perth.

Nicola Sturgeon, SNP

Image copyright SNP / Twitter
Image caption SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon was campaigning in Fife on Tuesday

New elective treatment centres for procedures such as hip and knee surgeries will be an "absolute priority" for another nationalist government, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The leader of the SNP, who was on a visit to Arden House day centre in Fife, said: "An SNP government will invest the resources the NHS needs now to make sure our health service can meet the challenges of the future.

"These new treatment centres have the potential to completely transform the lives of older people across Scotland and the SNP are clear that this will be an absolute priority if we are re-elected."

Kezia Dugdale, Labour

Image copyright Scottish Labour / Twitter
Image caption Scottish Labour Party leader Kezia Dugdale was campaigning outside the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale says her party would increase spending on the NHS and protect local hospital services if it won the Holyrood election.

Ms Dugdale was campaigning outside the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley.

She told the BBC: "It is very clear that the RAH, children's ward, here is under threat. The SNP won't give a guarantee that this hospital and services here will remain open and they won't tell us until after the election.

"I have met families here today who are extremely anxious about that. The Labour Party will protect these services."

Ruth Davidson, Conservatives

Image caption Ruth Davidson, Scottish Conservative Party leader, visited a GPs surgery in Midlothian

Scottish Conservative Party leader, Ruth Davidson, pledged to increase the share of the NHS budget that is being spent on primary care.

On a visit to a GP practice in Midlothian, Ms Davidson said there would be more details in her party's manifesto which is to be published on Wednesday.

She described GPs as the gatekeepers to the health service.

Ms Davidson told the BBC: "We have to make sure that we look after that first port of call - and that is the GPs surgery. And over the last 10 years the percentage of resources that GPs have had compared with the rest of the health service has gone down.

"We want to make sure that that keeps rising as the NHS budget in Scotland rise too, so that we look after our GP centres."

Willie Rennie, Lib Dems

Image copyright Scottish Lib Dems / Twitter
Image caption Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie took to the skies with the Civil Air Patrol

Willie Rennie said the Lib Dems would guarantee to pass on every penny of expenditure from Westminster to the NHS.

The Scottish Lib Dem leader said power should be returned to the nurses and doctors who we trained for years, who are too constrained by targets.

He said he supported an opt-out system for organ donations.

Mr Rennie took to the skies with the Civil Air Patrol as part of a campaign event highlighting his policies on policing.

Scottish Green Party manifesto launch

Image caption The Scottish Green Party candidates for the Holyrood election gathered at an event to launch their manifesto

The Holyrood manifesto of the Scottish Greens has been published and pledges to create 200,000 jobs in oil and gas decommissioning, renewables and housing.

The party, which won two seats in the 2011 election, is hoping to beat the record seven seats it secured in 2003.

Other promises include a permanent ban on fracking and recruiting 4,000 full-time equivalent teachers.

The Greens believe they have the right approach to deliver a "bold Holyrood and a better Scotland".

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