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by Ruaraidh Gilmour
17 February 2024
SNP privatising the NHS ‘through the front door’, says Ian Murray

Ian Murray | Andrew Perry

SNP privatising the NHS ‘through the front door’, says Ian Murray

Ian Murray has accused the SNP of privatising the NHS “through the front door”.  

Speaking at Scottish Labour’s annual conference in Glasgow, the Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland criticised the SNP, telling delegates they think “nurses should pay higher taxes” while “energy giants should pay lower taxes”. 

Murray said: “The Tories might be trying to privatise the NHS through the back door, but the SNP are doing it through the front door.” 

He pointed to figures that almost one in six Scots are on an NHS waiting list. He also was critical of figures that show last year 40 per cent of all hip and knee replacements in Scotland were done privately.  

Reflecting on 14 years of the Conservatives in government, Murray said they have “failed in everything they have done” and “everything is worse”.  

He said he was more surprised by the SNP, pointing to “cover-ups, secrecy, and police investigations”.  

Following Murray, Jackie Baillie, announced that a future Labour government will establish a National Clinical Council. 

She told conference it would be made up of doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals that will advise the government on how best to run the NHS. 

Baillie said: “Every single one of them [is] at the coalface of our NHS – the people who are saving lives day in and day out. 
“And conference, let me reassure patients and staff – this is no gimmick or cheap headline. Our NHS is too important for that. 
“That’s why this Council will be a statutory body that is empowered to advise health ministers on service change and workforce planning.” 

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