Plea for more cash to help Scottish voluntary health sector

Scotland’s voluntary health sector is severely
under-funded and laden with the task of applying to numerous
sources for finance according to recent research carried out by
researchers at Dundee University.

Dr Donald Coid, consultant in public health medicine, who
carried out the research, said: “There is great variation between
health boards’ level of funding for voluntary organisations. This
raises the question of the rationale behind such expenditure. Does
money committed in this way purchase the range and depth of
activity that the NHS in Scotland wishes to support?”

Some groups working within areas of unpopular health work such
HIV/AIDS sufferers and people with addictions reported having to
apply each year to as many as 18 organisations for small sums of
money. The research points out that only 1 per cent of the NHS
budget in Scotland or 69 pence per head of the population is made
available to voluntary health projects.

The network of voluntary health organisations, Voluntary Health
Scotland, called on the Scottish executive to meet its policy
pledges of investing in health and working with the voluntary

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