THE NHS is not safe under a Conservative government in Westminster, Scotland’s health secretary has said.
Humza Yousaf, speaking to the SNP conference today, claimed the Conservatives had no respect for devolution and were ‘testing the waters’ for how far they could impinge on Scottish parliament’s devolved powers.
It comes after Boris Johnson announced plans to increase national insurance contributions by 1.25% across the UK, to fund the NHS and social care in England.
Part of the money received by the Scottish Government as a result of the rise will have to be spent on the NHS and social care in Scotland, while some will be given as Barnett consequentials and can be spent on anything Holyrood decides.
Mr Yousaf also said the Tories were a threat to Scotland’s NHS, and suggested the party would “agree to just about anything” for a trade deal.
He said: “Whether through the UK Internal Market Act, or the Health and Care Bill, the Tories are trying to make it easier to do trade deals that could include how the NHS operates and how NHS Scotland protects patient data.
“Our very own Philippa Whitford has been pushing hard against the UK Government’s plans in their Health and Care Bill that would undermine Scotland’s NHS.
“The Tories say they can be trusted to protect our NHS in any trade deals – no, they can not. They have so spectacularly damaged the economy with Brexit they’ll agree to just about anything to get a deal.”
The health secretary referenced the fact that environmental targets were not included in the UK government’s trade deal with Australia, with claims they had been removed after Australia refused them.
Mr Yousaf added that an independent Scotland was the only way of protecting the NHS from the Conservatives, and vowed that his party would give Scots the choice.
He also reiterated the SNP’s plans to improve health and social care in Scotland through the formation of a national care service, which he said will be fully operational by the end of the current parliamentary term.