The bill for private operations in NHS Lothian has rocketed to £9 million in NHS Lothian alone in the last year.
Freedom of information requests from Scottish Labour unveiled a £50 million bill across Scotland and a £24 million bill in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
The spiraling private spend shows that our NHS is struggling to keep up with demand under the SNP.
Earlier this week Scottish Labour revealed the SNP were missing 13 out of 19 of their NHS targets, and that spending on private nursing agency staff had hit almost £60 million in the last five years.
Official figures revealed a string of missed targets and declining performance in our NHS, information published this week shows:
· Missed targets and declining performance for patients waiting for a key Diagnostic test as of 30 June 2016
· Missed target and declining performance for the 12 week Treatment Time Guarantee – a legal right the SNP gave every patient in Scotland.
· Missed target and declining performance for the 18 week referral to treatment standard
· Missed target and declining performance at Scotland’s £850 million flagship hospital for accident and emergency treatment
The figures showed the strain on NHS staff, who are forced to try to deliver SNP promises without they resources they need.
Labour Shadow Health spokesperson Anas Sarwar said:
“When Labour established the NHS in the 1940s it was to deliver care, free at the point of delivery and based on patient need, not to line the pockets of private companies.
“These figures reveal the hypocrisy of the SNP on our NHS. They will campaign in elections against privatisation of our NHS while handing over increasing amounts of taxpayer cash to private health firms. These treatments will inevitably be costing more in the private sector than if they were being done on the NHS.
“This is money that could instead be invested in front-line care, doctors, nurses and hospitals. This follows on from figures which show a massive increase in the use of private nursing agencies too.
“Spending more taxpayer cash on private health services is an indication of the problems experienced by our NHS. It is clear they don’t have the capacity or the resources to deliver the care patients across Scotland need. This is unfair on patients and also to our dedicated NHS workforce who are under-valued, under-resourced and over-worked.
“It will also shock people to find that patients are being forced to travel long distances to be treated privately rather than being seen by their own local NHS.
“Instead of grandstanding Nicola Sturgeon needs to get serious about using the powers of the Parliament and doing things differently now. That’s why Labour would use the new tax powers of the Scottish Parliament to invest in our public services instead.”