There are at least two big problems with the report tonight on BBC Reporting Scotland.
First, Fraser said:
‘Remember, the bigger a share health gets the more a squeeze is applied elsewhere – on schools, police, welfare.’
Nonsense! Public spending is not a closed system. There many other ways to increase health spending without cutting other areas such as these. We could tax the rich, the corporations, including the oil companies, a bit more. We could cut spending on nuclear weapons and useless aircraft carriers. We could stop attacking other countries and spending millions every time we launch a cruise missile. We could cut pointless vanity projects such HS2. I could go on. You could go on. Fraser is peddling the same myth long used to keep us in our place believing that we have to accept austerity because we can’t afford to do anything about it.
Second, he said:
‘Half of people told one polling organisation that the NHS (sic) is getting worse. Only 23% said it’s getting better. That figure is across Britain. In Scotland there’s less sense of crisis. Those figures may be less negative.’
Why did Fraser use the UK figures and then make a grudging acknowledgement that they might less bad here? Scottish data is easily available. It’s obvious why he did so when you see them:
Nine out of ten people were positive about their overall care and treatment whilst in hospital.
Overall, people were very positive about their experiences of hospital staff, with a slight increase in the overall positive rating, to 91 per cent.
91% satisfied is less negative than only 37% thinking it’s getting better so I don’t suppose there’s much point in complaining.