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FMQs Sturgeon rejects calls to sack health secretary despite NHS crisis

NICOLA STURGEON rejected calls to sack her health secretary today, despite an NHS crisis happening “under her nose.”

Shona Robinson is accused of ignoring repeated warnings from the auditor general about the financial problems faced by NHS Tayside, which covers her constituency.

The board faces charges of financial mismanagement, including raiding charity endowment funds to pay for an IT system. It could now have to cut £200 million from its healthcare budgets.

At First Minister’s Questions today, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “We have a health board raiding charity funds to pay the bills and that is after fiddling the accounts.

“And what makes this worse is that this is all happening in Tayside under the nose of the health secretary who is a member of this parliament for Dundee.”

Mr Leonard argued it was “too late” for Ms Robison “to be an honest broker in the NHS Tayside affair.” He said the first minister should “face up to the fact that the time has come for the health secretary to go.”

But Ms Sturgeon told him she would "continue to give my support as first minister to the job the health secretary is doing to strengthen the leadership of the NHS Tayside board."

A review carried out by accountants Grant Thornton found that, since 2012, NHS Tayside had "misrepresented" its financial performance by "holding" £5.3 million allocated by the Scottish Government for eHealth initiatives.

FMQs saw four other MSPs raise separate questions over the Scottish NHS, including two SNP backbenchers. Ms Sturgeon insisted action was being taken in all cases.

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