The SNP Government’s sticking plaster approach to the NHS has let staff down, Scottish Labour said today.

Public Services spokesperson Jackie Baillie highlighted figures which show: 

  • More than 2000 nursing jobs were cut during Nicola Sturgeon’s time as health minister
  • Training places for  nursing and midwifery students were cut by more than a fifth between 2009 and 2012
  • Funding for Scottish medical students has been cut by 5% on average since 2008/09, reversing the trend of the previous Labour-led Scottish Government 

Today also saw Gillian Smith, Director of the Royal Colleges of Midwives predicts a “time bomb” of midwives retiring from the NHS in the next few years.


Scottish Labour have been warning for months about a crisis in recruitment for family doctors.


Scottish Labour Public Services Spokesperson Jackie Baillie said:


“Our NHS is Scotland’s most valued public service. Now more than ever we need a health service free at the point of need to deliver the care Scots deserve regardless of how much money they earn.


“Our NHS needs to be fit for the future, but we are seeing a picture emerge of complete and utter failure from the SNP Government to plan for the years to come and give our health service the support it needs.


“Audit Scotland exposed the extent of the problems in our NHS under the SNP Government in Edinburgh as they cut the health budget.


“We are looking at shortages of nurses, midwives and family doctors because of decisions made by this SNP Government. How can they expect our NHS to face the challenges of the next decade when they cut training places for the people who will deliver the care Scots need?


“These problems in our NHS did not appear overnight, they began on Nicola Sturgeon’s watch. Under the SNP Government NHS staff are undervalued, under resourced and under intolerable pressure. This sticking plaster approach is not working.”


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