CALLS FOR SNP MSPs TO “APOLOGISE FOR BETRAYING LOCAL PEOPLE” ON PROMISE TO PROTECT NHS
Dumfries and Galloway Labour politicians have called on local SNP MSPs to “apologise for betraying local people” after their pre-election promises to protect the NHS have been “exposed” by the latest NHS workforce statistics published today (Tuesday).
In the three months between June and September this year alone, our local health service lost 31 staff, including 7 nurses and midwives. The figures show that since 2009 NHS Dumfries and Galloway has cut 157 of its total workforce, including 63 nurses and midwives.
In an article on her website in March this year, Joan McAlpline, now SNP South of Scotland MSP, said an SNP Government would “protect the NHS” (1). Similarly, in January of this year fellow SNP South of Scotland MSP Aileen McLeod boasted of their being “more nurses in our hospitals” (2). The First Minister Alex Salmond made similar pledges to protect the NHS prior to the election (3).
These figures follow a Government report over the summer that gave a future projection of the NHS workforce in Dumfries and Galloway for 2011/12, which shows that further reductions in staffing are expected over the coming months. In total the Government projected that by next year the total cut in NHS Dumfries and Galloway staff will be almost 190 since 2009. Frontline nurses and midwives will be forced to bear the brunt of the cuts, with their 115 job losses accounting for over half the total NHS staff cuts.
Earlier this month it was revealed that Dumfries and Galloway NHS is cutting nearly £15m from its budget, with cuts in drugs budgets and care packages alongside staffing reductions.
Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said:
“The SNP should apologise for betraying local people with their false promises to protect the NHS. The latest NHS workforce statistics expose that once again Dumfries and Galloway has been let down by the SNP. When asking for votes before the Scottish Parliament election they promised to protect our local health service but the reality is that we’ve lost 31 staff since the summer alone. Quite clearly, their commitment to our health service wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on. I want to know whether the SNP ever had any intention of sticking to their pledges, or if they were nothing more than pre-election warm words. Either way, they’ve let Dumfries and Galloway down and people just won’t believe the SNP again when they say they will stand up for the NHS.”
Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray said:
CONTACT – ANDREW MACKENZIE 07769206856
NOTES TO EDITORS
3. Prior to the election, launching the SNP’s election manifesto, Alex Salmond said: “We’ll protect the health service for the duration of the next parliament.”
4. ATTACHED – Latest NHS workforce statistics for Dumfries and Galloway.