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Scottish health minister Susan Deacon has claimed Scotland is losing its 'sick man of Europe' tag, thanks to 'record levels of investment' and reductions in coronary heart disease and cancer. The NHS in Scotland quarterly bulletin shows that£4.8bn was spent by the NHS in Scotland in 1998-99, or£938 gross per head of population, an increase of 5 per cent in cash terms over the previous year. The mortality rate for cancer and coronary heart disease among people aged under 75 has fallen over the past decade.

The National Health Service in Scotland quarterly bulletin. www.scotland.gov.uk