Updated: Jul 14, 2021
While health is a devolved matter to the Scottish Parliament, cancer is an issue which is extremely important to me and I thank all of my constituents who have contacted me about the Catch up with Cancer campaign.
From the outset please be assured that the impact of Covid-19 on cancer patients has been a top priority in all of the Scottish Government’s planning.
The majority of cancer treatments have and will continue throughout the pandemic in Scotland, and screening services have also resumed in a phased, careful and prioritised way, as part of the remobilisation of the NHS in Scotland, with prioritising the safety of screening participants and staff as we deliver the national screening programmes during and beyond this pandemic. The Scottish Government is absolutely committed to detecting cancer early to save lives and has invested £42 million into our Detect Cancer Early Programme to raise awareness of potential cancer symptoms.
Further, The Scottish Government have also invested £10 million to support access to cancer services including diagnostics and staffing; and have utilised private sector capacity and extended working days and weekend working to support vital cancer services. Diagnosing and treating cancer will remain a priority for the Scottish Government, which they have supported in a new Cancer Recovery Plan with a planned investment of up to £114.5 million over the next two years. This will support cancer patients to have equitable access to care regardless of where they live, improve patients’ experience of care, and roll-out innovative treatments to improve cancer services. The SNP is committed to improve the experience of and outcomes for people affected by cancer across Scotland by improving service delivery and reducing health inequalities.
The SNP as the new Scottish Government will increase NHS frontline spending by at least 20% to support recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic and renew our NHS. This builds on the Scottish Budget of 2021/22 which took the total health portfolio spend to £16 billion, an increase of over £800 million, with a further £1.05 billion for Covid-19 related spend. However, myself and my SNP colleagues in Westminster will continue to call on the UK Government to increase health and care spending across the UK and match Scotland’s current per head funding for the NHS, which would deliver an extra £35 billion for the NHS in England and £4 billion for NHS Scotland in Barnett consequentials.