A healthier Scotland: 10 facts about the health service under the SNP

We all rely on our NHS – that’s why we want to make sure it properly recovers from the pandemic to be fit for the future.

Under the SNP, health funding and NHS staffing are at a record high – and we’ve delivered a number of transformative policies, from free prescriptions to free dental care for young people.

Here’s how we’re delivering progress on health.

1. Health spending is at a record high

Over 2021/22, health spending will exceed £16 billion – that’s over a 70% increase since the SNP came into power in 2007.

2. NHS staff levels are at a record high

Under the SNP government, we have 25,500 more doctors, nurses and other health staff in Scotland’s NHS – that’s over 20% more since 2006/2007.

3. Best performing A&E services in the UK

For more than 6 years, Scotland’s core A&E services have been the best performing in UK.

Statistics from November 2021 show that in terms of meeting the 4-hour wait time targets, Scotland’s A&Es were 11.9% better than England, and 15% than Wales.

According to the latest data, in Labour-run Wales, long waits over 12 hours were over five times higher than in Scotland.

4. The highest number of GPs per head

For over five years and counting, Scotland has had the highest number of GPs per head of population in the UK.

In Scotland, there are 94 GPs per 100,000 people – compared to 76 in England and 75 in Wales.

5. Free prescriptions

The SNP has abolished prescription fees in Scotland, which are now £9.15 per item south of the border – saving people with chronic conditions over £100 a year.

6. Free dental care

Following the May 2021 election, we have met our first 100 days’ commitment to deliver NHS free dental care for all those under 26 in Scotland, without an “opt-in” required.

And we’re working hard to deliver free dental care for all by the end of this term of Parliament.

7. Number of people registered with an NHS dentist has doubled

Since the SNP came into office, the number of people registered with an NHS dentist has doubled – now at around 5 million.

The number of dentists has increased by over 36% under the SNP government.

8. Cancer mortality is down

Thanks to an earlier detection and more effective screening, more people in Scotland are surviving cancer than ever before.

Since 2007, cancer deaths have fallen by 16% – and we’re investing even more to improve prevention, early detection and cancer treatments.

9. More ambitious action and investment in mental health

Scotland was the first country in the UK to have a mental health waiting times target, and our NHS Recovery Plan ensures at least 10% of all frontline health spending will be on mental health.

We’re recruiting 320 additional Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) workers and 1,000 mental health link workers in communities.

10. Expanded access to IVF – most generous in the UK

We’ve expanded access to IVF on the NHS to more families – making it by far the fairest and most generous in the UK.