Investing in more staff to boost with the under pressure health service in Ayrshire is at the heart of a Scottish Government budget proposal which MSP Kenneth Gibson is backing.

He wants to see the health budget increased by 5.9% for Ayrshire and Arran from £720m to £762.4m to ensure an 'even better service' on offer to the area.

Mr Gibson has called on opposition MSPs to back SNP Government budget proposals for 2020/21 that commit a record £15,328 million for health, an inflation-busting increase of £1,017 million (7.1%) on 2019/2020.

MSPs will vote on draft budget proposals next month.

The health budget proposal for 2020/21 also includes £117.1 million for Mental Health Services, representing a 37.6% increase, and a 7.1% increase for NHS Scottish Ambulance Service to £278.8 million.

Commenting, Mr Gibson said: “The SNP Government is investing record amounts in our NHS, that both serves Scotland now and is fit for the future, providing funding of £15,328 million for the forthcoming financial year; an increase of £1,017 million on the current year, itself a record.

“Whilst many health resources are shared across Scotland, NHS Ayrshire and Arran will see a 5.9% rise in its budget from £720 million to £762.4 million, enabling it to recruit and retain more staff and deliver an even better service.

“MSPs must do all we can to ensure our health service is properly funded, especially where demand is growing rapidly, such as mental health and social care.

"That’s why I’m calling on opposition MSPs back the SNP Government’s plans to protect our NHS and ensure it continues to deliver for the people of Ayrshire and Scotland.

"If they fail to do so, by law the budget will remain as per this current year, depriving the NHS of the record investment it needs to move forward and continue delivering a world-class service."