Page last updated at 15:54 GMT, Monday, 9 February 2009

Health boards receive budget cash

A&E sign
The bulk of the funding will be spent on day-to-day services

Health boards will each receive a share of 8.64bn in funding as part of the Scottish Government's 2009/2010 budget.

The money comes from more than 11bn allocated to the NHS this year.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said almost 385m would go to capital projects, such as new buildings, in a bid to boost the construction industry.

Most of the funding will cover day-to-day running costs, with the remaining cash being spent on family health, GP centres and medical equipment.

Ms Sturgeon said the budget marked a "record year" for NHS funding in Scotland.

'Vital role'

She said: "It means health boards will have the resources they need to progress their plans and offer a first-class service to patients across Scotland.

"With nearly 400m for NHS building projects across Scotland, it also show that this government will do everything within its power to support sectors of the our economy, like construction, that are suffering most during the recession.

"With around a third of the entire Scottish budget being spent by NHS Scotland, the health service has a vital role to play in helping our country through the tough times and on the road to economic recovery."

NHS boards, including special boards such as the Scottish Ambulance Service, NHS Education for Scotland and NHS 24, will receive a total of 8.26bn, with 385m in capital funding.

The Scottish Government said projects "earmarked" for support in NHS board plans for 2009/2010 include the Southern General Hospital neonatal unit in Glasgow and the new 11.26m Girvan Community Hospital in Ayrshire.

Meanwhile, NHS Highland is to receive funding of 488.5m.

But Labour's health spokesman Dr Richard Simpson claimed the funding amounted to the lowest spending increase for health boards since 1999/2000.

He cited a recent report by the auditor general which highlighted the financial challenges facing the NHS in Scotland.

Mr Simpson said: "It will mean that health boards are forced to cut staff numbers and find savings from frontline services.

"SNP ministers are failing to pass on the 6.7% year-on-year overall increase that the UK Government is delivering for the NHS in England. Nicola Sturgeon should tell us why she believes health is less of a priority in Scotland."

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