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Panic Measures Hit the NHS in Scotland

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Dr Brian Keighley, the head of the BMA (British Medical Association) in Scotland, has spoken out about the “panic measures” that are being resorted to in some hospitals in Scotland. His comments came during an interview with BBC Radio Scotland, where he discussed the challenges faced by the NHS due to the reduction in its budget.

The Scottish government made clear in its Comprehensive Spending Review that more than £800 million will be allocated to the Scottish NHS in the next three years. However the BMA disputed this, saying that inflation would result in the actual reduction in their budget.

Dr Keighley warned of “very difficult times” ahead due to the problem of continuing the current standard of services to patients. This is tempered by the problem of a shortage of resources, according to Dr Keighley. This is why many managers in the Scottish NHS are now driven to desperate measures to try and keep their books balanced.

Dr Keighley urged the Scottish government to take a “long term view” of the role played by the NHS so that the essential funds are invested where they should be. A real terms reduction in the amount of money the Scottish NHS has to play with could mean vast reductions in the quality of the services they will be able to offer. He did recognise that other services are in a worse situation than the NHS, but there was clearly still a need to mitigate the negative effects of the budget problems.

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