Winter has bared its teeth over the past few weeks, and it is at times like these that the local health service needs all the help that it can get.
So, recent news that NHS Grampian will receive an extra £15.2m from the Scottish Government in the coming year (2015/16), demonstrates a clear commitment to investing in the health of people across Aberdeen. This extra cash boost means that the total investment in NHS Grampian now stands at £49.1m for 2015/16. A further £100 million will also be invested in the NHS over the next three years, to help reduce the number of people waiting to be discharged from hospital, therefore reducing pressure across the system. Across NHS Grampian, this equates to £9.12m over the next three years, with £3.75m going to Aberdeen City. It should come as no surprise, then, that the SNP has topped a poll that shows the party’s commitment to protecting and improving the NHS is higher than any UK party. The poll, commissioned by Michael Ashcroft, asked respondents to rate on a scale of one to 10 how important they consider the NHS to be to each political party. The SNP achieved the highest in the UK at 7.04, compared to Labour on 6.69, and the Tories reaching 5.30. In government, the SNP has delivered real results for the NHS. Their introduction of the legal Treatment Time Guarantee has seen 98 per cent of patients treated within 12 weeks, free prescriptions for all, and we continue to protect the NHS budget in the face of cuts from Westminster. The NHS should never be taken for granted and to maintain such a high level of care, free at the point of delivery, does bring its own challenges. But the SNP have shown that they are the most focused on meeting these head on, for the good and the benefit of all.