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Guest aussiewannabee

Health boards could lose £85 million

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Guest aussiewannabee

Health boards could lose £85 million because of rising inflation, Labour has warned.

The party made the claim on the assumption that inflation would outstrip the SNP government's budget increases at 4.4%.

All health boards and the Scottish Ambulance Service would suffer under the scenario.

Labour called on health minister Nicola Sturgeon to find extra funds, warning that patients could suffer from real-term cuts.

But the SNP attacked the claim as "absurd and inaccurate". A spokesman said when the government made their NHS budget increases they were above the projected inflation rate at the time.

Margaret Curran, Labour's health spokeswoman, said: "These are not just efficiency savings, but real cuts to the health service totalling over £85 million. I am very concerned that patient care will suffer as a result.

"If Nicola Sturgeon doesn't want to be branded the Minister for Health Cuts she must make the NHS a genuine priority for the SNP and find the money to fund it properly."

The government allocated an increase in funds of around 3% - adding £257 million to health board and other health service budgets.

Labour claimed 4.4% inflation would lead to real-term cuts of between £300,000 in Orkney to £21.7 million in Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Grampian would face cuts of £5.9 million and Lothian would lose £8.7 million. The ambulance service would lose £2.2 million, Labour said.

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