Nicola Sturgeon urged to reveal Apple plans for Scottish NHS

Labour has called on the First Minister to reveal any plans she has to involve global technology giant Apple in Scotland's NHS.

Saturday, 17th June 2017, 5:11 pm
Updated Monday, 19th June 2017, 12:56 pm
Nicola Sturgeon met with Apple chief exec Tim Cook in California.

The call comes after new information emerged from discussions Nicola Sturgeon had with Apple chief executive Tim Cook in California during her visit to the United States in April.

The Scottish Daily Mail reported that documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show the SNP leader planned to discuss a fundamental overhaul of the way many patients are treated as part of the Scottish Government’s “digital health strategy”, and talked about opportunities for Apple in the Scottish NHS.

Scottish Labour’s health spokesman Anas Sarwar said: “Nicola Sturgeon should disclose any plans she has to involve Apple in the NHS.

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“The First Minister marketed her visit to California as an attempt to draw investment to Scottish businesses, not discuss more privatisation in our health service with billion-pound tech companies.

“We aren’t afraid of technological progress, and welcome improvements in healthcare technology. But that should never replace investment in NHS staff.

“That Nicola Sturgeon is touting our NHS to big business in America while our nurses back home have real-terms pay cuts, and Scots patients have their waiting times missed, shows just how misguided the SNPs priorities for our NHS are.

“Nicola Sturgeon should come clean and tell us if there are any plans to involve Apple or any other private companies in the Scottish NHS.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Scotland is a leader in digital health care innovation, development and adoption.

“We believe that everyone’s health and well-being can be better supported through greater, appropriate use of technology innovation.

“We will continue to work with a range of partners to strengthen the services available within Scotland’s publicly-owned, publicly-run NHS.”