Tackling poor mental health must be a priority and should be treated with the same importance as physical health. Treatment need not only take the form of prescribing medication but, where possible, carried out in a holistic approach that includes counselling and psychotherapy treatments.
Healthcare is a devolved matter here in Scotland, and so responsibility for NHS Scotland rests with the Scottish Government. I am pleased that the UK Government has worked to ensure that NHS Scotland is properly funded, by increasing overall funding for the Scottish Government by £2 billion in last year’s budget.
The Scottish Government will also receive an additional £2 billion per year by 2023 as a consequence of the UK Government’s announcement of an extra £394 million per week for the NHS. It is up to the Scottish Government whether to spend this extra funding on the NHS or allocate it elsewhere, and I and my Scottish Conservative colleagues have called on Nicola Sturgeon to confirm that all of this UK Government cash injection will go to NHS Scotland.
My Scottish Conservative colleagues in Holyrood are holding the SNP to account on their mismanagement of Scottish healthcare, and have developed a 15-point plan, which I fully support, to reform NHS Scotland. Included in the plan, we call for the SNP to fund preventative spending in mental health and for the expansion of mental health services into primary, emergency and community settings.
Scottish patients are currently being let down by a lack of a coherent strategy for mental health. The Scottish Government has the power to improve the state of Scotland’s NHS yet they are doing little to do it.