Scotland’s cash-strapped National Health Service has pledged to pay private companies £850 million to carry out NHS work in a desperate bid to ease pressure on its struggling staff, this newspaper can reveal.

A Mail on Sunday investigation today lays bare the enormous scale of NHS privatisation under the SNP government, as the beleaguered health service increasingly attempts to outsource its core day-to-day functions.

Since January 2023, contracts worth hundreds of millions of pounds have been awarded to private firms – many of which are based in England, with some as far afield as Denmark and the Netherlands – to help with diagnostics, testing, X-ray assessments and treatments.

It means that, as the taxpayer-funded health service battles record waiting times and stretched resources, thousands of Scottish NHS patients and their records have been diverted to the private sector.

Want to see more SNP fails? – Education Matters

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