Nearly 9,000 patients from Scotland have been treated in the rest of the UK over the past five years, new figures have revealed.
A series of Freedom of Information requests by pro-UK campaign Scotland in Union has revealed how the NHS pulls together across the UK to help those who are seriously ill or need specialist treatment.
In the past five years, 8,968 patients from Scotland have been sent to England, Wales or Northern Ireland for treatment.
More recently, that includes 1,142 patients who received care in the rest of the UK during the Covid pandemic.
Thousands of patients from England, Wales and Northern Ireland have also been treated in Scotland, although direct comparisons cannot be made due to the inclusion of emergency admissions in the data provided by some Scottish health boards.
Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said:
“The NHS is an institution we are proud of in every corner of the UK – and it works for everyone in every nation and region.
“These figures show how the NHS pulls together to ensure that everyone receives the care they need, regardless of where they live.
“But the SNP wants to put our NHS at risk by building a border and decimating the public finances for Scottish hospitals by leaving the UK.
“With our cherished NHS under so much pressure, governments should be focused on supporting the health service and providing the necessary resources – not obsessing about the constitution.
“This is just one example of why we are stronger together as part of the UK."
Source: Freedom of Information requests collated here.