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Communications Index | Press releases | Scotland inUNISON | Campaigns


Wed 1 Jan 2003

Celebrate the NHS and appreciate the staff who deliver care - says UNISON

In the run up to this year's Scottish Parliament elections, Scotland's largest healthcare union, UNISON is calling on politicians to debate the future of the NHS constructively, and to move away from the constant sniping and undermining that currently prevails.

Jim Devine, UNISON's Scottish Organiser for Health said, "On a typical day in Scotland's NHS:

* Over 60,000 people visit their family doctor

* 3,900 people receive treatment in accident and emergency departments

* 24,700 people are seen as outpatients

* 2,500 operations are carried out including 80 heart operations and 10 kidney operations

* 150 babies are delivered

* 2,700 people receive a free eye test

* District nurses make 12,600 visits.

This care is provided free at the time of need.

"Since its creation in 1948, life expectancy has increased and many killer diseases have been eradicated.

"No healthcare system is perfect but if we compare the NHS to others then it is still the jewel in the crown. As part of our campaign for Scotland's public services, UNISON is calling on politicians to appreciate the NHS and not to use the coming Scottish Parliament elections as an opportunity to undermine and devalue the service.

"Legitimate political debate about the future of the NHS is right and proper, but constant sniping by politicians becomes not simply an attack on the Executive or the Health Minister, but also an attack on the NHS and its staff.

"We are calling on all politicians to make one New Years Resolution, namely, instead of undermining the NHS they spend the next 5 months debating and providing practical solutions for its improvement."


For Further Information Please Contact: Jim Devine(Scottish Organiser - Health) 07876-441-239 Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0771 558 3729(m)