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ELECTION 2021: Restoring the NHS a 'number one priority' for Labour

By Kyle Ritchie

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THE pandemic has been a shock to everyone’s system and our amazing NHS staff have worked tirelessly on the front line in the most challenging circumstances, writes Labour candidate Georgia Strachan.

Scottish Labour's candidate for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Georgia Strachan.
Scottish Labour's candidate for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Georgia Strachan.

We owe our health service workers a huge debt of gratitude.

As we move out of the pandemic, we need to closely look at the stress the NHS has been under in recent years, exacerbated by Covid.

From where I stand, the Scottish Government’s decision to continually cut council funding has had a huge impact on wrap-around services that support a preventative approach to healthcare.

These services are vital to delivering effective, accessible healthcare and supporting the NHS.

This missing support is clear when you look at one of Scotland’s most pressing health issues: the drugs deaths crisis.

This has impacted our communities on a scale unparalleled in the rest of the UK or Europe.

It is vital that the NHS and local services receive the support and funding needed to respond properly and save lives.

In my campaign in Banffshire and Buchan Coast, I’ve been calling for an end to the punishment-based model and real, compassionate support for those living with addiction. This means: Community-based support to tackle drug use before it becomes problematic; Treatment for those living with addiction; Help to get people back on their feet when they’ve recovered.

The drug deaths crisis is a public health emergency and severely damaging for individuals, families, and communities.

Scottish Labour supported the adoption of safe consumption rooms, alongside expanded community resources that help people avoid substance misuse in the first place and improve access to residential rehabilitation and treatment.

Scottish Labour’s position is clear: we need to get the NHS back on track so that we never again have to choose between treating a virus and treating cancer.

In the next parliament, we will make restoring the NHS and services a number one priority.

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