Labour Puts SNP Under NHS Spotlight

2 March 2016, 06:00 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

Hospital scene

Labour has called on the SNP to reveal whether it plans to cut NHS services ahead of the Scottish election in May amid reports some wards and hospitals face closure.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has published board papers stating it will have to save £69 million in the coming financial year.

Labour has also previously highlighted concerns about the future of St John's children's ward in Livingston, West Lothian.

Scottish Labour equalities spokeswoman Jenny Marra said voters deserve "straight answers'' before the election.

The party will lead a debate in Holyrood on Wednesday commending the dedication of Scotland's NHS staff, care-sector workers, GPs and other health professionals.

Labour will call for fully-resourced services in Scotland and express "deep concern'' at "reported plans for the potential closures of wards and hospitals in various communities across Scotland''.

The motion calls on all parties to ensure the continuation of current services such as the Royal Alexandra Hospital children's ward, the emergency care services at the Vale of Leven Hospital, Lightburn Hospital in Glasgow and the children's ward at St John's Hospital in Livingston.

Ms Marra said: "The NHS is our most-valued public service and people deserve straight answers about what will happen to the local NHS services they rely on now, not after May.

"Only a third of NHS staff believe that there are enough of them to do their jobs properly under the SNP government and we see each week the huge strain our hospitals are under.

"The SNP have an opportunity today to be straight with the people of Scotland - will local health services that communities rely on be protected or do they face the axe?''