Our NHS is our most cherished institution and for as long as the SNP is in government we will work to protect and improve it.
There is no doubt that in doing so we will face big challenges over the next few years. People are living longer and our NHS is treating more patients than ever before.
That’s why we’ve committed to an ambitious plan to improve our health service and increase health resource investment by at least £500 million more than inflation over the next five years. That’s almost £2 billion of increased investment.
In the election we received a clear mandate to implement this vision for our NHS. And, despite the tumultuous events of the last two months, we’re already delivering on the promises we made.
We’ve created new GP and paramedic training places, we’ve expanded IVF access and Scotland continues to have the best hospital A&E waiting time performance in the UK, hospital safety is improving, and NHS Scotland patients rating their care and treatment as good or excellent this year is at its highest level on record.
We have achieved much in the three months since the election but as Health Secretary I will never stop working to make Scotland healthier still.
Shona Robison is Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport
Here is some of what has been achieved in our health service since the election.
1. NHS Scotland patient satisfaction is at its highest level on record. Patient satisfaction continues to increase with 90 per cent of NHS Scotland patients rating their care and treatment as good or excellent.
2. The number of nurses, doctors and dentists working in Scotland’s NHS has increased, with staffing levels at historically high levels under the SNP. And, we’ve committed to enshrining safe staffing levels for our NHS in law too.
3. Scotland’s A&E performance has been the best in the UK for 20 months. Our core accident and emergency performance has remained better than elsewhere in the UK for the last 20 months of published data, from March 2015 to November 2016.
4. Scotland has the highest number of GPs per head of the population in the UK, and we have created 100 new GP training posts per year. A proportion of the new training places will also come with an incentive to take up posts in hard to fill locations, such as remote and rural areas.
5. 1,000 new paramedics will be trained over the next five years. The new paramedics will be equipped with the skills to support people in the community.
6. We will invest an extra half a billion pounds into primary care, including GP services and health centres. Over this parliament, we will increase health spending by almost £2 billion. And we will increase spending on primary care services to 11 per cent of the frontline NHS budget.
7. In the last ten years cancer mortality is down 11 per cent. And, our new Cancer Strategy, backed up by £100 million in funding, will improve prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
8. Scotland was the first country in the world to implement a national patient safety programme, and hospital safety is improving. Figures published show that between January to March 2014 and January to March 2016, hospital mortality has fallen by 4.5 per cent.
9. Scotland was the first country in the UK to have a mental health waiting times target, and over £150 million is being invested over the next five years to improve mental health services. And, we are currently developing a new plan to transform mental health services too.
10. We’ve expanded access to IVF so that it is now the most generous in the UK. Families who have children in the home but where one parent has no biological children will now be eligible.
11. We have brought forward plans for a £5 million expansion of the Golden Jubilee Hospital. This will mark the first stage in our plan to invest £200 million in a network of elective treatment centres to meet the needs of an aging population. And we’ll bring forward £3.5 million of spending on improvements to Inverclyde Hospital and Glasgow Royal Infirmary too.