At the heart of the SNP’s Manifesto for the 2021 Scottish Parliament election is the National Health Service.

The pandemic has placed exceptional pressures on our NHS – and that requires an exceptional response. If re-elected the SNP will undertake a full-scale post-pandemic remobilisation of the NHS and have pledged a transformational increase in frontline health spending with the following action:

• Increase frontline NHS spending by at least 20%, over £2.5 billion, and increase investment in social care by 25%, over £840 million.

• Establish a new National Care Service – including abolishing non-residential social care charges and national pay bargaining for social care staff, backed by increasing investment in social care by 25%.

• Invest £10 billion over the next decade to renew our NHS estate by refurbishing and replacing facilities across Scotland

• Increase the direct investment into mental health services by at least by at least 25% and ensure that, by the end of the parliament, 10% of our frontline NHS budget will be invested in mental health, with a particular focus on child and adolescent services – an even greater priority given the impact of Covid on so many. And we will ensure every GP practice in the country has access to a dedicated mental wellbeing link worker, creating a network of 1,000 additional dedicated staff.

• Abolish NHS dentistry charges for all, restoring all of our NHS to its founding principles of being free at the point of need.

Following the manifesto launch SNP’s Ruth Maguire commented:

“The SNP’s Manifesto is bold and will transform the NHS for the future.

Today our party leader Nicola Sturgeon spoke about how the NHS was born following the trauma of the Second World War. 

As we emerge into the post pandemic world we need to have vision like this for social care. In the next term of parliament, we will establish a National Care Service, which will improve standards, ensure enhanced pay and conditions for workers and provide better support for unpaid carers.  In addition, I particularly welcome non-residential social care charges will be abolished.

Other progressive policies which will really benefit our communities including the abolition of NHS dentistry changes, mental wellbeing link workers deployed to every GP practice and the establishment of fast track cancer diagnostic centre in every health board area.”

The Manifesto – which will also outline the SNP’s programme for sustained economic recovery and job-creation, and for giving people a choice on Scotland’s future after the pandemic – will in addition commit to a £10 billion programme of investment in NHS infrastructure over the next decade, as well as increased investment in mental health and the establishment of a National Care Service.