MSPs were told yesterday that funding for NHS Grampian has been £239million short of its official target over the last decade.
At Holyrood, North East MSP Mike Rumbles of the Lib Dems challenged Health Secretary, Jeane Freeman, over official figures produced by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe).
For this coming year – 2019-20 – cash allocated to NHS Grampian will be £7.7million short of the target set by the NHS Scotland Resource Allocation Committee target.
In previous years, the shortfall has been larger. For example in 2009-10, it was £34.5 million and Mr Rumbles said that, over the last decade, the total shortfall came to £239m.
In parliament, he argued said there had been a “consistent failure” to meet the target.
And, afterwards, he added: “The situation in NHS Grampian is appalling. North East health services are the worst funded in Scotland, per head of population and a decade of underfunding has left the health board in crisis.
“Not a week goes by without NHS Grampian missing crucial targets for patient care in areas like cancer waiting times, chronic pain treatment and emergency care.”
NRAC is responsible for around 70% of the total NHS budget between Scotland’s 14 health boards.
The formula makes adjustments for factors such as the life circumstances and deprivation of local patients and the geographical challenges faced in each area.
Ms Freeman responded that the Scottish Government was making “progress towards increasing equity and fairness in application of the formula”.
A NHS Grampian spokeswoman said: “We continue to work closely with the Scottish Government in securing funding in line with our NRAC target allocation.
“This position has consistently improved and we welcome the positive steps that have been taken.
“We anticipate that further progress towards our target allocation will continue.”