NHS Tayside will be forced to make £214 million worth of budget cuts in five years, causing consternation in the north east region.
Both patients and unions have fears for the future of the service, with serious concerns raised by the health board.
And the Scotland Patient’s Association believes that healthcare in the region faces a “long hard road ahead”.
The deficit is equivalent to almost one-third of the total annual budget of NHS Tayside.
Chief executive Lesley McLay pledged that job losses were not being considered, but there is obvious concern about this eventuality.
She added that they will be working in partnership with trade unions going forward.
Responding to the issue, Dr Peter Bennie, chairman of BMA Scotland stated that “it is essential that patient care is not jeopardised,” clearly a major concern going forward.
While Bob McGlashan, a senior Royal College of Nursing officer, was adamant that the local authority must demonstrate vision to both the local population and healthcare workers.
“NHS Tayside will have to provide detailed plans on how it can achieve the savings that are being asked of them, but it’s crucial that staff are fully consulted at every step.”
Shona Robison, health secretary and MSP for Dundee East, indicated that the authorities were taking diligent steps to ensure minimal impact on the local community.
“NHS Tayside’s leadership team has put in place a long-term plan to return to sustainable financial balance that we expect them to deliver, which includes tackling where operating costs are above the national average, and we are confident the plan can be delivered. We are actively engaged with NHS Tayside through performance management arrangements, providing support to ensure its plan is robust and challenging and that it addresses the immediate challenges.”
NHS trusts accumulated a collective deficit of approximately £2.5 billion in the most recent financial year.
And the government has tasked the healthcare system with finding £22 billion worth of efficiency savings by the end of the decade.