Following the news that NHS costs increased by 3.9% to £11.2 billion in 2015/16, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP commented:
“As a result of increased demand for its services and short-sighted decision-making from SNP ministers we now have an NHS which is under real pressure. Audit Scotland recently made it clear that ministers have failed to shift the balance of care and put the NHS on a sustainable footing.
“Funding the NHS so that it keeps pace with inflation and increases elsewhere isn’t enough on its own. We need to increase investment in primary care, such as mental health and GPs, to reduce demand further down the line. Ministers also need to keep costs down by getting a grip of delayed discharges and workforce planning to avoid the use of expensive agency staff.
“NHS staff are working flat out. Unless they are given the right resources and intelligent support, ministers will be letting them down and letting patients down.”