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Scotland increases health budget "to protect against UK-wide cuts"

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

Scotland has said that, despite its "squeeze on overall public spending", the health budget should be increased by 2.4% in 2010-11 to £11.35bn ($18.7bn). The draft plans unveiled yesterday seek to protect Scottish health spending from "the £129m impact of the UK government's decision to reduce the English health capital budget by £1.3bn", said the Scottish government. The segment of funding disbursed directly to the health boards, ostensibly to make up for any UK-wide funding cutbacks, would rise by 2.7% to £8.54bn. The extra money would be "heavily prioritised towards frontline services", said health secretary Nicola Sturgeon. The budget features £55m in revenue and capital funding to deal with H1N1 swine flu; and the ringfencing of funds deemed necessary to meet the targets of its healthcare-associated infections (HAI) and waiting times programmes.

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