Scottish Conservative Party
Health boards, primary care trusts and GP co-operatives to be abolished, with the Scottish Office taking over strategic planning and financial allocation. In primary care, 'decision making and responsibility' to be devolved to local GPs, but no resurrection of GP fundholding. A 'clinician- led' working party 'to examine morale and working issues' in the NHS. 'Modern matrons' to ensure a 'visible leader' on the ward. Community health trusts to be set up, comprising NHS primary care, social services, voluntary organisations and churches.
Scottish Labour Party
Aims to make the Scottish NHS 'the most modern, patient-centred in Europe'. Technology to be exploited to speed up referrals and treatment through 'airline' booking systems. Eight new hospitals. Waiting lists to be brought down from inherited levels by 'at least 10,000' in the next three years. Outpatient waiting times to be cut. Coronary artery bypass operations to increase by 500. A centre of excellence in rural healthcare in Inverness.
Scottish Liberal Democrats
Pledge to increase health funding to tackle short-term problems, and improve public health to meet long-term needs. Charges for eye and dental checks to be abolished. A health promotion opportunities fund to be established, and councils to have more responsibilities for public health. Waiting times to be cut to six months or less. An increase of 500 doctors and 1,000 nurses. A new ministry of health and social services, held to account by 'a powerful health committee of the Scottish Parliament'. An independent Scottish standing commission on health to advise on NHS strategies and establish priorities.
Scottish National Party
Will refuse to implement chancellor Gordon Brown's 1p income tax cut, devoting the money to education, health and housing. Promises to maintain a 'period of non-disruption' for NHS structure. A national healthcare commission to plan NHS future and a minister for public health. A national framework for standards in community care. PFI to be replaced with a Scottish public service trust, which will raise capital from commercial markets to build hospitals while 'holding the assets in trust for the nation' until the end of the contract period.