Isles health spending applauded

New figures showing that NHS Western Isles receiving more funding per head than any other health board in Scotland have been welcomed by Western Isles MSP, Alasdair Allan.

According to the latest data, health spending is almost £750 more per head of population than anywhere else in Scotland.

Dr Allan acknowledged that the Western Isles is a uniquely challenging place to deliver health services due to its scattered population, age profile of residents and on-going health challenges.

But he added: “These issues are recognised in the funding allocation by the Scottish Government to NHS Western Isles for the year 2011/12. Despite a real terms cut of £1.8 billion by the UK Government to the money which Scotland has to spend this year health spending is largely being protected.

“While the NHS cannot possibly be said to be exempt from the financial pressures that apply to all public services just now I believe that this year’s settlement in the Western Isles is a promising one. The Government has again accepted that spending per head in the Western Isles has to be substantially higher per head than the Scottish average of £1455.03.”

The MSP continued that NHS Western Isles has made “very significant progress financially” since its problems five years ago and just as importantly staff morale had substantially improved.