The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) states that the NHS is in crisis, lacking manpower, infrastructure and financial resources, leaving it unable to deliver a comprehensive service and questions whether or not healthcare can remain free at the point of delivery.
Health boards across Scotland are preparing to slash employee numbers to meet financial targets. Although NHS Scotland has a budget of £13billion a year it is obvious that more resources are needed.
Patients pay towards dental treatment but prescriptions are free, regardless of ability to pay, and last year free prescriptions cost £1.3billion. Free prescriptions were introduced by the SNP in April 2011 as a political bribe so far costing over £7billion, thus bleeding the NHS of vital resources.
Will Scottish politicians heed the warning from RCSEd and introduce a standard charge for all treatment and also reintroduce prescription charges? After all, a packet of cigarettes or a couple of beers is nearly £10.
The SNP are fond of the expression ‘Where Scotland leads others will follow’ but since England charges £8.60 for prescriptions why not follow them?