By Kaitlyn Schaeffer
If the Scots vote in favor of independence from the United Kingdom, Scottish patients currently on the waiting list for vital organ transplants might be sent to the back of the line. This would mean increased waiting times for people in need of heart, liver, and lung transplants.
Department of Health officials cautioned that, in the case of Scottish independence, the treatment system would have to be completely overhauled, and existing arrangements for those already on the wait list could not be guaranteed. Currently, Scottish patients are matched with donors from anywhere in the UK, but borders would have to be re-drawn if the Vote Yes campaign succeeds.
As of today, more than 500 Scots are waiting for transplants.
The issue of how to handle changes in healthcare has been a central issue in the debate over independence. The Better Together campaign believes that it will be difficult to receive high-quality medical care in the absence of UK-taxpayer money. Those in favor of independence, however, dismiss these claims as fear-mongering.
But numbers don’t lie: Scottish politician Ed Miliband stressed that an independent Scotland would see it’s National Health Services’ budget cut by up to one billion pounds – the equivalent of 36,000 nurses.
“As we enter the last days of this campaign, the choice for the people of Scotland is clearer than ever before – change with No or huge risks with Yes,” Mr. Miliband declared.
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