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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 November 2007, 17:05 GMT
Health Department - budget plans
The health department, which is headed by Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon, is responsible for the NHS in Scotland, mental health, pharmaceutical services and dentistry and housing.


The health portfolio oversees spending of 11.2bn in 2008/09 and running the NHS over this period costs a large chunk - about 10.6bn. The department has also set out plans to improve affordable housing, boost local communities and promote sport.

Here are the main announcements:

  • Maximum wait of 18 weeks from being referred to a hospital consultant until treatment by the end of 2011 - 90m per year.
  • 0.5bn a year to fund major developments, including new hospital projects.
  • Sport funding - 47m, 53m and 54.9m.
  • Cutting the harm done by alcohol misuse - 20.1m, 30.1m and 35.1m over the three-year spending plan term.
  • Phasing out prescription charges for those who still pay them - 20m, 32m and 45m.
  • Immunisation to cut cervical cancer risks - 18.0m, 18.5m and 27.5m.
  • Boost national screening programmes for illnesses - 16.3m, 14.2m and 10.8m.
  • Cutting smoking - 3m a year.
  • Tackling obesity - 11.5m a year.
  • Better access to independent sexual health services - 0.5m per year.
  • Increasing good quality, sustainable housing - 430.0m, 507.8m and 533.2m.
  • Tackling poverty and disadvantage - 8.5m, 9.0m and 11.0m.
  • Strengthen of primary health care in Scotland's most deprived areas - 12.5m per year.
  • Flexible access to primary care, such as GPs - 10m per year.
  • MRSA screening and infection prevention programme - 12m and 21m over the next two years.
  • Specialist children's services including chronic diseases and cancer - 2.0m, 10m and 20m.
  • Free eye tests - 27m, 29m and 31m.
  • Improving wheelchair and seating services - 4m, 6m and 6m.
  • Third Scottish dental school in Aberdeen - 4.5m, 6m and 9m.
  • Support for carers - 1m, 3m and 5m.
  • Commonwealth Games delivery - 4.1m, 6.6m and 11.6m.


  • National waiting time guarantee that no patient should wait longer than 18 weeks from GP referral to treatment by the end of 2011.
  • Reverse the decision taken by the Scottish Executive to downgrade the Accident and Emergency departments at Monklands and Ayr Hospitals.
  • More NHS 24 mini-centres co-located with out-of-hours services in each health board area.
  • At least half of health board members to be elected by the public.
  • Public inquiry into the infection of patients with Hepatitis C through NHS treatment.
  • No-fault compensation system for NHS patients
  • Increase the payments for personal and nursing care in line with inflation. To secure the policy in the longer term an independent review will be established to investigate both the level and distribution of resources to local authorities, advised by Lord Sutherland, chair of the Royal Commission that paved the way for the introduction of free personal care.
  • Seek to "recover" 40m in attendance allowances from the UK government when the Scottish Parliament introduced free personal care.
  • Additional 6m each year to ensure an appropriate availability of care home places for those who need residential care.
  • Additional 10,000 respite weeks per year, either at home or in a care setting. By 2011 carers in greatest need will have a guaranteed annual entitlement to breaks from caring.
  • Double the number of school nurses to carry out annual health and fitness checks in schools.
  • Abolish prescription charges for people with chronic health conditions, people with cancer, and people in full time education or training and scrap all prescription charges by 2012.
  • Free school meals pilot for P1-3 pupils and increase entitlement to free school meals for a further 40,000 children living in poverty.
  • Abolish sportscotland and run its three national centres as not-for-profit trusts.
  • Additional 250,000 each year to support the expansion of five days subsidised outdoor education targeted at children from the most deprived communities.
  • Restore ring-fenced funding for drugs education and increase by 20% funding for drug treatment and rehabilitation programmes.
  • 10m of dedicated funding for drugs education in classrooms.
  • Review current right to buy legislation while protecting the rights of existing tenants.

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