The Scottish Government has admitted that current plans will cut almost 4,000 NHS jobs this year, including over 1,500 nurses.
The figures were revealed in workforce planning projections published after weeks of pressure from Scottish Labour MSPs.
Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie said:
“We have lost 30,000 jobs in the building industry, 2500 teachers, 1000 classroom assistants, 1000 police support staff, and now 4000 jobs are under threat in the NHS.
“This is happening despite the current Scottish Government having the largest Scottish budget in history – £1bn more than last year, and double what was available when the parliament was first elected in 1999. Not to mention having spent the £1.5bn of reserves that they inherited from the previous Labour government.
“These cuts are due to incompetence and mismanagement. If the SNP are cutting now, what will it be like in the tough times ahead?
“Cuts of this magnitude will have a major impact on patient care. Instead of blaming others, the Scottish Government needs to intervene to protect frontline NHS services. They need to stop pretending that the cuts will have no impact and listen to NHS managers who admit that the cuts in the workforce will lead to a reduced service.”
Cathy and her colleagues have launched a campaign against the job cuts (see photograph attached, with Labour Health spokesperson Jackie Baillie and Linlithgow MSP Mary Mulligan; and petition on http://www.scottishlabour.org.uk/fewernurses)