Glasgow Southside MP denies scaremongering with plans to privatise the NHS during fiery FMQ
Nicola Sturgeon came under scrutiny this lunchtime at First Minister’s questions following accusations she wanted the NHS to go private.
Glasgow Southside MP and Scotland’s First MInister Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of scaremongering and dismissed claims of any plans for privatising parts of Scotland’s health service after documents were leaked.
NHS bosses had discussed a two-tier system for the NHS where wealthier patients would be asked to pay for treatment.
For the independence referendum in 2014, Sturgeon and her cohorts led a doorstep campaign without getting scrutinised - voted were told that if they voted to stay in the UK then the NHS would be privatised. The SNP insisted at the time that the Tories had a secret plan to sell off the health service, a plan that remained internal until now.
During First Minister’s Questions, Douglas Ross, the Scottish Tory leader raised the leaked minutes of a meeting between high-ranking officials, which said they had been given the “green light” by NHS Scotland chief executive Caroline Lamb to discuss reforming the health service.
Sturgeon said it was “bold” for Ross to come to the Holyrood chamber and talk about privatisation of the NHS saying: “The Conservaties, who have done more than any party in these islands, and sometimes they’ve had stiff competition from Labour, but have done more than any other party in these islands to privatise the National Health Service.
“I’m intrigued though at Douglas Ross’s line of questioning, I did an interview on Monday addressing the comments, the minutes are there, I wasn’t denying then the conversation took place and I’m not denying it now.”
Sturgeon expressed her furore at Ross when she elaborated at FMQ by adding, “Let me let Douglas Ross into what shouldn’t be a secret but he clearly doesn’t understand it - NHS leaders, however much respect I have for them, and I have considerable respect for them, do not make government policy.
“The Government makes government policy and the founding principles of the National Health Service, that this government has done more than any to protect and to enhance, are not, and as long as I am First Minister, will not be up for discussion.”
Ross claims that Sturgeon was scaremongering about NHS privatisation which she immediately denied categorically.
Scotland’s First MInister also hit back saying Douglas Ross, MP for Moray, doesn’t stand up for the principles of the NHS.
“Last year, there was an amendment passed in the House of Lords that would have explicitly protected the NHS and excluded it from trade deals that could undermine its founding principles.
“Tory MPs in the House of Commons voted to remove this protection. Guess who one of those Tory MPs was, presiding officer? Douglas Ross. Even when he gets thew chance, he doesn’t stand up for the priniciples of the NHS. This government, always will.”
Meanwhile, Scottish Labour leader and MP for Glasgow, Anas Sarwar insisted the SNP are undermining the principles of the NHS, “Under the SNP healthcare, we already had a two-tier system, In 2021, all hip and knee replacements were paid for privately.
“The pandemic shouldn’t be an excuse, that 3,430 people paying privately to get a hip or knee replacement, or NHS is at risk because of our government’s choices.
“After 15 years in government, there is no one else to blame, take responsibility for your record.”