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BMA Scotland comments on Comprehensive Spending Review

Commenting on the Scottish Government's Comprehensive Spending Review which was published on Wednesday 21 September, 2011

Dr Brian Keighley, chairman of the BMA in Scotland said:

“It is widely accepted across all areas of the public sector that Scotland will have to face up to the dual challenges of falling budgets and there is little argument about the potential effect these will have on public sector services. Despite the protection of the NHS Budget, the rising costs of health inflation, currently running at around 4%, means that the NHS faces an unprecedented real terms reduction in its budget over the next three years and today’s spending review lays bare the challenges in maintaining the range and quality of services that the NHS currently provides.

“Doctors have accepted a temporary pay freeze but continued attacks on NHS staff terms and conditions of service and a raid on public sector pensions is completely unacceptable. This is a short term solution that will have long term repercussions for the NHS.

“Doctors working on the frontline of healthcare are already witnessing the damaging effect that cuts to the nursing workforce and pressure to achieve savings is having on patient services. It is vital that the Scottish Government and managers take a long term view for the NHS and work with health professionals to identify how services can be made more efficient and where cuts should be made without compromising patient care.”