healthFinance Secretary, Derek Mackay, has confirmed the health resource budget will increase by more than £400 million.

The Government claims this will now take its investment in health to a record high of more than £13.1 billion, meaning the health portfolio has increased by more than £4 billion (44.5%) since 2006/07.

‘We want to continue to provide the best possible care to help people lead healthier lives, which is why we are prioritising investment in frontline services, with frontline health boards to receive additional funding of 3.7%,’ Derek Mackay said.

‘This will ensure continued investment in facilities and services, funding a new GP contract and increased investment in mental health, while also supporting key reforms such as major trauma centres.

‘Of course, none of this happens without a dedicated workforce.

‘Lifting the pay cap will benefit thousands of nurses and healthcare staff, guaranteeing a minimum increase of 3% for staff who earn up to £30,000 – rewarding and investing in hard-working public sector staff.

‘The resource budget is now £360 million higher than if we had only delivered real-terms increases since the last Scottish Parliament election.

‘Our approach of investment and reform will deliver better care and health for the people of Scotland, helping meet the challenges of an ageing population and rising demand for health services.’

Dentists’ pay rise

Despite this increase, Scottish dentists received only a 1% pay rise earlier this year, making them the worse paid in all the home countries.

BDA Scotland has criticised the 1% pay reward, claiming Scottish associates and practice owners have seen their real-terms income fall by over a quarter since 2009.

‘Despite boasts from the Government, NHS dentistry in Scotland is still running on empty, as investment has barely kept pace with inflation and ever rising demand,’ Robert Donald, Scottish Dental Practice Committee chair, said.

‘The real message to the frontline continues to be, “do more with less”, and it’s our patients that stand to lose out.’