Observations UK General Election 2017

What the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the DUP, and Sinn Fein are promising the NHS

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j2707 (Published 02 June 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j2707
  1. Andy Cowper, editor
  1. Health Policy Insight
  1. andycowper{at}hotmail.com

Andy Cowper gives an overview of the manifesto pledges from the Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru, the Democratic Unionist Party, and Sinn Fein

For the past 18 years, the legislative assemblies of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have had responsibility for their own country’s NHS. In the 2017 general election campaign, the manifestos for the main non-English parties in the home nations offer interesting perspectives on the NHS in these countries.


The Scottish National Party manifesto offers comfortably the most developed plans for the NHS and some clarity about how they would be funded. In the introduction, Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the party, promises “a responsible fiscal plan to end austerity and free up resources to invest in public services, protect family budgets, and call a halt to cuts in social security support for working families and the disabled.”

“Protecting the NHS” comes in third of the SNP’s 13 key pledges. The manifesto says, “We are already committed to increasing the budget of NHS Scotland by £2bn [€2.3bn; $2.6bn] …

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