Health Secretary speaks ahead of Parliament debate
Improving Scotland's health and social care will remain a top Government priority, Health Secretary Shona Robison will say today.
Ahead of opening the first health debate of the new Scottish Parliament, Ms Robison said that the Government was committed to protecting a publicly funded and operated NHS, which would remain free at the point need for everyone.
Ms Robison said: "The NHS is this country's most cherished public service and must always remain free at the point of need, in public hands.
"This Government has a strong track record of delivering faster, safer and more effective care, and my plan is to build on the progress we have achieved to date.
"This afternoon, I will set out how this Government intends to take forward the evolution of our health and social care services so that they continue to meet the rising demand and changing needs of our population.
"This includes giving primary, social care and mental health services an increasing share of the NHS budget each year to ensure that as many people as possible can lead fulfilling, independent lives.
"We'll also deliver our commitment to giving frontline health services significant increases in funding every year, with health resource spending planned to increase by £500 million above inflation by the end of this Parliament.
"We will also continue to maintain our focus on prevention, working across Government to address deep-rooted health inequalities which put more pressure on our NHS.
"I look forward to working in partnership with our staff, stakeholders, opposition politicians and the public to build a consensus on the future direction of our health and care services over this next parliamentary session."