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May 15, 2012


One of the few things upon which political parties the length and breadth of the country agree these days is the sanctity of the NHS. So Macca’s musical question of 1967: “—will you still need me, will you still feed me when I’m 64?” can be answered with a resounding ‘yes’ now that our national health service has reached—and passed—that age.

People consider it so popular and essential that the Scottish Government promised to keep raising its funding, even through this time of fiscal shrinkage: no opposition party has dared quibble. Scottish Health Boards will receive £8.645bn this financial year, rising to £9.390bn in 2014/15—an 8.6% rise.

After Greater Glasgow, Lothian Health Board receives the second-biggest chunk of that—some £1.122bn—which includes five ‘off-the-books’ PFI projects, plus a huge one on the books: the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. It’s also been on the receiving end of unfavourable press and awkward questions…

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