“Only a Yes vote will save the NHS,” said Kenny MacLaren, one of the organisers of the Yes Paisley campaign, who had emergency surgery in the RAH in Paisley two years ago.
Although the NHS in Scotland is a separate body from the NHS elsewhere in the UK, and despite the operational decisions about the NHS being under the control of the Scottish Government, all the finances to fund it are controlled by Westminster.
Scotland receives a block grant from Westminster that is based on spending in public services in the rest of the UK. However as more and more of the NHS in England is privatised, less public money is spent on their NHS, which means a cut in the funding Scotland receives.
There is also a massive push to privatise the NHS in England. Last weekend a march to Save England’s NHS from privatisation finished its procession in London where it met the Labour Shadow Health Spokesperson, Andy Burnham, who has repeatedly warned about the privatisation agenda in England’s NHS. Also a number of Scottish Labour MPs have publicly warned about the impact NHS privatisation will have on Scotland. The public services union, UNISON Scotland, has also warned that privatisation in England will inevitably lead to privatisation of Scotland’s NHS.
Kenny MacLaren added:
“Only two years ago I was seriously ill with ulcerative colitis and the medication I was taking was failing to control my symptoms. It was only the excellent care from my local GP and the RAH that resulted in an emergency operation that saved my life. I cannot thank the NHS and its staff enough for what they’ve done for me, so the least I could do is campaign to save the NHS from privatisation.
“It’s time the unionist Labour and Tory politicians stop lying about the threat to Scotland’s NHS. In England Labour politicians are saying the Tories privatisation agenda is a threat to the NHS, yet in Scotland Labour politicians are saying we should trust the Tories!
“A range of people including UNISON Scotland and even Scottish Labour MPs have highlighted how the privatisation agenda in England’s NHS will have a serious impact on the funding Scotland’s NHS receives.
“The Scottish Government has promised that our NHS will be enshrined as a public service within a written constitution – giving a guarantee that it will never be privatised.
“The NHS was there when I needed it, I want to make sure it’s there when anyone else needs it.”