Nicola Sturgeon is to outline plans to increase NHS activity to 10% above pre-coronavirus levels as part of efforts to help Scotland recover from Covid-19.
The SNP leader and current First Minister will insist her party is the only one going into the Holyrood election campaign with “a serious plan for government and for national recovery from Covid”.
If the SNP is re-elected to power next month, Ms Sturgeon said it will look to raise NHS in-patient activity, day case and out-patient activity to 10% above pre-pandemic levels within one year.
Ms Sturgeon will promise measures to support NHS staff and will also commit to a future SNP government investing to ensure people can get the right care care closer to home, while also working to maximise hospital capacity so patients can be treated more quickly.
The commitment comes after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted some routine NHS care over the course of the past year.
Ms Sturgeon will highlight the efforts as part of her party’s commitment to “build a fairer, more equal country, grounded in a sense of solidarity where we look out for one another”.
She will say: “At the very heart of our plan is the National Health Service – and if we are re-elected the SNP will bring forward a plan for a full-scale post-pandemic remobilisation of the NHS.
“Our plan has three clear steps: firstly invest in, and recognise, the contribution of the magnificent NHS staff who care for us.
“Thirdly, building and maximising hospital capacity so more patients can be treated more quickly.
“The ambition is bold but achievable – to recover from the pandemic, remobilise our NHS and give patients and staff the services they need to protect and enhance our NHS for the future.
“Our overarching aim will be to raise inpatient, day-case and outpatient treatment activity by 10%, compared to pre-pandemic activity, within the first year of the new Parliament and to maintain that level for the rest of the term.
“I believe that working with our NHS staff, local communities, patient groups and trade unions, we can get help people get the treatment they need and get Scotland’s NHS not just back to where it was, but ready to serve Scotland long into the future.”