Colin Beattie’s View on the NHS

Wednesday April 7th 2021

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Midlothian View Holyrood Challenge: This View has been written by Colin Beattie, the Scottish National Party's candidate in the Midlothian North & Musselburgh constituency for the Scottish Elections on Thursday May 6th 2021

This is the first election in which I have been unable to meet voters in person. No knocking on doors and no stopping for a wee chat on the streets or in the supermarket. This makes it very difficult to explain your policies. It is only through the pages of publications such as the Midlothian View that the public hear from the Holyrood candidates.

For the past 10 years I have been the MSP for Midlothian North & Musselburgh and during that time I have met and worked with so many community groups and businesses across the constituency. My knowledge and experience in helping to create jobs and helping to protect jobs will be vital in the tough months ahead. As we emerge from the Pandemic we will face the disaster of Brexit. Both these events will hit us in our pockets and cost us jobs which together we must work hard to protect.

We all have a huge respect and affection for our NHS. Throughout the Covid 19 Pandemic our NHS has been there for us – sometimes at great personal cost. I believe that offering our NHS workers an inflation busting 4% pay rise is well deserved although I wish it could be more. South of the Border 1% is being imposed. This is simply an insult.

There is a perception that our NHS is “broken” in some way. I do not believe this but I do see a huge organisation which now needs to re-invent itself, not for the first time, into an efficient, modern support for us all.

However, our NHS is genuinely under threat. Privatisation is not just a scare-word. The Transatlantic Trade Deal Westminster is negotiating with the USA leaves our NHS vulnerable and available for sale. Our SNP MP’s proposed an amendment to ensure that our NHS remained in public ownership. The Westminster Government rejected that safeguard.

It has been reported that 37 GP surgeries in England have been sold to US investors. Since GP surgeries are independent contractors and not part of our NHS they are vulnerable to being sold to the highest bidder. This is how the system was set up in 1948. It may have made sense at the time but no longer. We must review the deal with doctors and ensure that creeping privatisation cannot take place.

In Scotland we have control over our NHS. However, the UK Government passed the Internal Markets Act which allows the UK Government ministers to arbitrarily enforce a “levelling out” of regulations and differences between the Nations of the UK. This allows London to make NHS Scotland available for sale regardless of our wishes. I will fight to prevent the loss of our NHS and the best way to be sure of that is to take back control of our affairs.

The SNP announcement of a proposal to establish a National Care Service will bring together the disparate care providers in Scotland, creating common standards and a truly free care service for us all.

Please give me the opportunity on May 6th to continue to serve this community and to protect our NHS..

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