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EXTRA CASH BOOST FOR NHS.

Health minister Sam Galbraith yesterday took his scalpel to NHS fat cats.

The former surgeon slashed pounds 7 million earmarked for health board bureaucrats.

It will be spent instead on cutting the time patients have to wait for heart operations and cancer treatment.

Mr Galbraith demanded pounds 5 million savings after the General Election in May. But yesterday he revealed the budget review had boosted savings by a further pounds 2 million.

The total transfer of red tape funds will mean treatment for an extra 8000 Scottish patients this year, including:

* 700 Glasgow cancer patients will get radiography after two weeks instead of four;

* Lothian heart patients should get operations in 10 months instead of a year;

* The longest wait for a hip replacement in the Highlands will fall by two to 10 months.

Announcing the transfer of fat cat funds, Mr Galbraith pledged: "This is just a start.

"But is is an important step towards the sort of Health Service.

"I envisage for Scotland - a service tailored to the local needs of patients and able to respond quickly and effectively to local circumstances."

Health boards have been told they should spend no more than pounds 10 per head of local population on red tape.
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Author:Mirror
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 27, 1997
Words:205
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