Henry McLeish MSP, First Minister of Scotland
"Improving the nation's health and building a modern, 21st century NHS are at the heart of the Executive's priorities."
Devolution brings with it many challenges but more importantly it creates many opportunities. We now have the chance to address Scotland's needs with greater determination and focus than ever before, and to do so in a way that is truly open and accountable to the Scottish people.
Improving the nation's health and building a modern, 21st century NHS are at the heart of the Executive's priorities. We have already demonstrated that commitment in both our policy and our spending priorities. But we want to do much more. Policies must be translated into practice. Investment must deliver results. That means new ways of working, forging new partnerships and uniting together in a national effort for change and improvement.
We do not just want to talk about change. We want to make change happen. To create better opportunities and to deliver social justice and real improvements in the quality of life of people in Scotland.
This Plan provides a clear statement of national priorities for health and for the NHS. But it is not intended as a simple statement of policy - t is a plan for action. The Plan does not seek to replicate the many thousands of pages of detailed government policy documents which already exist. Instead it aims to bring these policies to life. In short, to make them happen.
The Plan builds upon many months of dialogue and discussion_with NHS staff, patients and the public. It reflects a widespread consensus for improvement and change. Its emphasis is to translate policy into tangible, practical measures which will deliver results. In the months ahead we will continue that process of dialogue and involvement to ensure that change is achieved.
Devolution is about making a difference. I am determined that we will use our powers and our resources to make a real difference to the lives of people in Scotland. Our ambition is to achieve better health and a better NHS. I believe that through a united national effort this can be achieved