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Tuesday, 22 February, 2000, 17:16 GMT
14m for Scottish NHS

Heart monitor
New equipment will be bought with the money

The Scottish Health Minister Susan Deacon announces plans to hand over an extra 14m to the NHS.

It is new money from the Treasury and is Scotland's share of additional health spending.

Health boards will get half the sum in order to pay for more intensive care and high dependency beds and new equipment.

Susan Deacon Susan Deacon: Pleased to announce the funding
During the winter the Government came under fire for not having enough beds to cope with the flu outbreak.

The rest will be spent on local health services including centralising GP administration.

Ms Deacon welcomed the additional cash - but repeated that the Scottish Executive does not just want to spend more - it wants to spend better.

The funding comes as several health trusts in Scotland are facing big overspends - including one of 12m in Tayside.

'Spend better'

Ms Deacon said: "This investment is further evidence of our commitment to continually invest in and improve the NHS in Scotland. Health is a top priority for the Scottish Executive and this is reinforced by our decision to allocate this extra money to the NHS.

"But as I have said before, we must not just spend more - we must spend better. That means directing resources to areas of greatest need and where patients will benefit most.

Ninewells Hospitals such as Ninewells should benefit
"That is why we are targeting an extra 6.8m to intensive care and high dependency beds and to medical equipment.

"In my statement to the parliament on 12 January, I made clear that we would review the provision of intensive care and high dependency beds and take appropriate action wherever improvements could be identified.

"We have now received the independent Audit Report of the Scottish Intensive Care Society and are taking forward its findings."

She insisted the country had 10% more intensive care beds than in 1997 but accepted that there was a need to replace medical equipment which "is past its useful life".

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See also:
15 Feb 00 |  Scotland
Budget crisis hits heart unit plan
14 Jun 99 |  Health
'Urgent' heart inquiry demand
14 Feb 00 |  Health
Government 'spins NHS funding pledges'

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