Liberal Democrat Shadow Scotland Secretary, Alistair Carmichael today [Sunday] called on the UK and Scottish Governments to ensure Scottish veterans do not suffer from a two-tier system of NHS treatment.
The UK Government recently announced an extension of the NHS priority treatment scheme to all veterans, but this will not apply in Scotland without equivalent action by the Scottish Government. The Liberal Democrats are calling for action to ensure Scottish veterans are entitled to the same rights as their English counterparts.
With an estimated 1.017m veterans resident in Scotland, and just 50 veterans known to have received treatment under the existing scheme, as many as 1m veterans could miss out on the benefit of a scheme which will be provided to those resident in England unless the MOD and Scottish Government ensure they act together.
Commenting, Alistair Carmichael said:
“Scottish soldiers have made a huge contribution to the UK’s safety over the past decades. It would be a disgrace if they ended up being treated as second class citizens by comparison to their English counterparts.
“Labour and the SNP talk about standing up for Scotland, but their inability to work together will see Scotland’s veterans missing out on the benefits English veterans receive.
“The Scottish and UK Governments must get their act together. Otherwise Scotland’s veterans will lose out under a two-tier system.”