£70 million surplus for NHS Scotland

The NHS in Scotland achieved an overall surplus of more than £70 million in 2005/6 against a total budget of around £9 billion, according to a financial watchdog.

The position is in stark contrast to a deficit of more than £500 million in England for the same year, figures from Audit Scotland show.

They represent a turnaround from a 2004/5 deficit of £32 million for NHS Scotland.

MPs in England have blamed DoH underestimates of the cost of staff contracts for contributing to deficits, but new GMS and other pay deals have not undermined finances in Scotland.

The new GMS contract added around £140 million to NHS boards’ costs in 2004/5 and 2005/6.

The report also shows that Scotland spends more per capita on health than any other UK country. Annual per capita spending in Scotland is £1,513, compared with £1,453 in Wales, £1,402 in Northern Ireland and £1,349 in England.

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