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Some months ago, I was contacted by a constituent from near Peterhead. He told me that an elderly family member suffering from significant underlying medical conditions, which make him particularly vulnerable, was unable to get a general practitioner appointment for a flu vaccination for more than two months. The Scottish National Party’s failures have led to NHS Grampian having some of the worst waiting times, GP practices closing and many patients not getting vital vaccinations. Thanks to record national health service funding coming to Scotland from the United Kingdom Government, the SNP has the powers to end the underfunding of NHS Grampian. Will the First Minister show that she is serious about improving NHS Grampian by delivering the £165 million that
Press and Journal reports today it has missed out on?
There is record investment in our NHS, notwithstanding the austerity cuts that the Conservative Westminster Government has imposed on us. The Conservatives do not like hearing this, but I remind them that, next year, the Scottish budget will be £1.5 billion lower in real terms than it was when the Conservatives took office at the start of the decade. Notwithstanding that, we are investing record sums in the national health service. Spending on the national health service in Scotland is £136 more per person than it is in England, where the Conservatives are in government, and we have record numbers of people working in our national health service. We will continue to make investments, deliver the reforms and get on with the job. I hope that, come the end of this week, we will not have a Conservative Government imposing yet more austerity on the Scottish budget.