A Highland Liberal Democrat candidate has called on the Scottish Government to hand over more than £6million to NHS Highland.
Danny Alexander has written to Deputy First Minister John Swinney claiming the money has been “withheld” from the health board.
In January, the Scottish Government announced that NHS Highland would receive an extra £9.4million to bring it within 1% parity with other health boards a year early.
But Mr Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said Scottish Parliament researchers had calculated that NHS Highland was still 1.2% below parity, equal to £6.6million needed for vital health services.
The National Resource Allocation Committee (NRAC) formula for distributing resources within the NHS in Scotland was introduced in 2009-10.
However, it has been criticised for giving health boards equal funding. Scottish Government policy was to phase in changes to bring all health boards within 1% of each other by 2016-17.
Mr Alexander – who is fighting to retain his Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey seat – said NHS Highland has lost out on £35million over the years.
“John Swinney should immediately release the money the SNP has withheld from NHS Highland. I’m not calling for more funding, I’m calling for fair funding,” he said.
“Our hard working doctors and nurses deserve better than the treatment they have received from the SNP. NHS services in the north need fair funding in order to keep the Highlands healthy.
“The £6.6million the SNP government has withheld from NHS Highland could pay for an additional 307 nurses.”
Spokesman for Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “No amount of shameless electioneering from Danny Alexander can disguise the fact that he is responsible for implementing swingeing Tory cuts to Scotland’s budget.
“Despite these cuts, the SNP have increased NHS Highland’s budget by over 5% this year – or £26 million – to a total over £550million.
“Earlier this year the health secretary announced an additional £65million would be made available to health boards for 2015-16, giving all territorial health board an above inflation increase in their budget.”