SNP Leader Alex Salmond MP and candidate in the Cathcart by-election, Maire Whitehead, have today (Tuesday) called on voters in Cathcart to make a difference for public services in the constituency.
Ms Whitehead published new information from ISD Scotland, which shows that the number of acute, cancer and medical paediatric beds in NHS Greater Glasgow has fallen since Labour came to power in 1999.
Acute beds have been cut by 251 (6%), cancer beds by 10 (7%) and medical paediatrics by 19 (28%) since 1999. The previously unpublished figures provide the most up to date numbers for acute specialities across the city.
Commenting Mr Salmond said:
"These figures tell us a great deal about Labour's failed management of the NHS. Since Labour took office in 1999 the number of acute beds in Glasgow has fallen, including in priority areas such as cancer care.
"Instead of cutting back beds and services we should be looking to expand provision across the south side. That means protecting the under-threat A&E and bringing in new facilities such as kidney dialysis.
"A victory for Labour on Thursday will mean business as usual and that is bad news for Glasgow's NHS. The best way to make a difference is to vote for the only party that can beat Labour and that is a vote for the SNP."
Ms Whitehead added:
"These figures raise big questions for Labour across Glasgow. The loss of acute beds means lower capacity in our health service, which leads to longer waits and fewer patients treated.
"It is the patients of Cathcart and Glasgow who are losing out as a result of LabourÂ¹s health cut backs.
"In Cathcart we already know of the threat to services at the Victoria Infirmary and these latest figures give the most up to date picture on bed losses in all parts of the city.
"Labour politicians have let down staff, patients and the NHS. The Health Service in Glasgow is no longer safe in Labour hands."The following table shows the average available staffed beds by acute speciality in NHS Greater Glasgow in June 1999 and June 2005:
|NHS GREATER GLASGOW||number of beds|
| ||June '99||June '05|
|total cancer beds||147||137|