Tories pledge to end free prescriptions in Scotland

The Scottish Conservatives has called for free prescriptions to be abolished in order to finance an extra 1,000 new nurses and midwives north of the border.

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The Scottish Conservatives has called for free prescriptions to be abolished in order to finance an extra 1,000 new nurses and midwives north of the border.

Amidst growing concerns about a staffing crisis in the Scottish NHS, the party’s leader at Holyrood made the commitment in a set piece address to its annual conference in Edinburgh.

Pledging to reverse the free perceptions for all policy which came into effect in 2011 Ruth Davidson told the conference:

“Under the SNP, the number of nurses and midwives in Scotland has gone up and down like a fiddler’s elbow.

“2,000 posts gone in two years.

“Right now – hundreds of places down, creating an intolerable pressure on those who are left. Millions spent on bank or agency nurses to plug the gaps. It’s not good enough.

“It’s not good enough for staff and it’s not good enough for patients. For the young mum turfed out of the maternity ward on the same day she gives birth. For the post-op patient waiting for a bed pan because staff are rushed off their feet. For the nurse whose own health suffers from the stress and exhaustion of doubling her workload. It’s time we did something about it.

“That’s why today I am able to announce the Scottish Conservatives will pledge an extra 1,000 nurses and midwives for Scotland. And, once introduced, we will not let numbers drop below that mark.

“And we’ll pay for it by restoring the prescription charge. Not for the young, the pensioner, the pregnant or the poor – they’ll stay exempt as they always were. But for people who’re earning, who are overwhelmingly happy to make their contribution, they will know that their small sum will make a world of difference in wards across the country.”

In a sign of the extent of the u-turn she has made since she was elected leader in 2011 on a promise not to develop devolution further, Davidson announced that the former leader of the House of Lords Lord Strathclyde would be publishing in May the findings of his report, prepared for the Conservatives on the future of the devolution settlement in Scotland. Davidson declared in no uncertain terms:

“A no vote allows devolution to develop. Independence kills it stone dead.”

In a rallying call to the people of Scotland to join the Conservatives, and in recognition of what she herself described as a Scottish Conservative party that had so often been “on the back foot”, Davidson declared that the party’s voice “is loud and growing”:

“If you have ever wanted to be involved in public life, but didn’t know where to start, then start with us.

“We want you on our team. We want you to come forward.

“I am changing the face of this party – and fighting for the future of this country – and I want you standing beside me.

“Our voice is loud and growing and I want it to grow yet further.”

5 Responses to “Tories pledge to end free prescriptions in Scotland”

  1. uglyfatbloke

    Yeah…’cos the tories just love the NHS.

  2. Peter A Bell

    So that’s both Ruth Davidson and Johann Lamont threatening Scotland’s universal benefits. We know how to protect them. Vote Yes!

  3. Colin

    “A no vote allows devolution to develop. Independence kills it stone dead.”

    Vote No and have a very small chance at more devolved powers or vote Yes and have all the powers of an independent country from day one, mmmm intresting argument.
    Vote Yes you know it makes sence.

  4. Thomas

    Well. that won’t win them many votes.

  5. Dakiro

    If it is a small sum, I might consider paying. I do not think all can afford it, though.

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