SNP candidate for Falkirk John McNally has pledged to fight any proposal to privatise NHS services no matter which party introduces them.
The 63-year-old has put the future of the universal health system at the heart of his campaign to replace Eric Joyce - who has now stood down following the dissolutuion of parliament last week - as MP for the Falkirk constituency.
While much has been achieved within the NHS in Scotland, there are still improvements to be made but these will not be achieved by privatisation of the Health ServiceJohn McNally
The SNP claims that although management of the NHS north of the border is devolved to the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood, its funding remains “very much in the gift of Westminster”.
Mr McNally, who represents Denny on Falkirk Council, said: “The danger to our NHS from the privatisation agenda being implemented south of the border is a very real one with major implications for services here.
“The record of the SNP Holyrood Government is a good one, policies such as free prescriptions are very popular in Scotland - but there is no doubt that the London parties would want to see parity across the UK and therefore an end to initiatives such as free prescriptions.
“The SNP has also increased the numbers of nurses and midwives by 1700, consultants by 1300 and reduced waiting times while cementing the NHS as a public service despite facing massive cuts in the Scottish budget.
“While much has been achieved within the NHS in Scotland, there are still improvements to be made but these will not be achieved by privatisation of the Health Service. Both Labour and the Tories have at their core the transfer of public services to the private sector.
“We should never forget that it was the Labour Party who signed over the new acute hospital at Larbert to the private sector at a cost to NHS Forth Valley that is impacting on services.”
The General Election takes place on Thursday, May 7.