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Scotland decides 2014: independence and the NHS

Edinburgh 12.12.06 The Union Jack, Scottish Saltire and the European Union flags flying outside the Scottish Parliament  Pic Neil Hanna

Edinburgh 12.12.06 The Union Jack, Scottish Saltire and the European Union flags flying outside the Scottish Parliament Pic Neil Hanna

With just three weeks to go until Scotland decides its future, we look at another key issue in the independence referendum.

Health and more specifically the future of the NHS, is a major talking point in the on-going debate leading up to the independence referendum.

This week, two of our local MSPs each give their side of the argument on whether our health would be better served as part of the United Kingdom or in an independent Scotland.

Lothian Labour MSP Neil Findlay said: “As the SNP continue to languish in the polls, ahead of September 18, it seems their tactics to turnaround their failing campaign are getting more and more desperate.

“They want to move away from their flawed position on economics and currency where they know they have been found out onto the NHS where they are peddling the biggest lie of the campaign to date.

“The reality is that health in Scotland is fully devolved – our NHS can only be privatised if MSPs in the Scottish Parliament vote for it and that is just simply not going to happen. Even the Tories in Scotland reject NHS privatisation here.”

Midlothian South SNP MSP Christine Grahame said: “Now you will hear all sorts of claims about why a YES vote will ensure our NHS remains owned by us, for us and free at the time of need.

“In Scotland our NHS has been devolved for 15 years and in that time we have rid ourselves of the unfair means testing for prescriptions which in England is £8.25 for each item.

“Did you know that when there were charges here folk were asking their GP which items they could do without so they could afford them?

“A pink pill whether in hospital or home is the same pink pill.

“Charging for ill health is not Scotland’s way. But the money given to Scotland to spend on health is dependent on the money England spends, so it follows that if England reduces that money, we have ours cut, no ifs no buts. That’s why what happens to England’s health service matters so much to us.”

Read more in this week’s Advertiser, out now.

 

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