Keith Brown, MSP for Clackmannanshire and Dunblane, has condemned the comments of Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Alexander Stewart after he criticised the decision by NHS Forth Valley to spend over £660,000 in two years on replacing the existing bedhead TVs at Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

Mr Stewart attacked the spending decision claiming that replacing bedhead TVs should not be a priority.

Keith Brown said "I have received assurances from NHS Chief's that the television replacement programme at Forth Valley Royal Hospital has been fully planned and costed in line with all approved guidelines.

"It is concerning that the Tories are criticising our NHS for ensuring patients do not experience isolation or loneliness while in hospital. For those who have extended stays in hospital, having access to a TV ensures a sense of normality during their time there and can make the long evenings of recovery more bearable.

"Mr Stewart has clearly misjudged the public mood and does not understand that regular patient surveys show that patients place a great worth on having access to a television.

"I would add that if Mr Stewart is so worried about budgetary pressures facing our NHS, then maybe he should direct his attention to the Tory Government at Westminster who has reduced Scotland's budget by 9.2% in real terms between 2010/11 and 2019/20. In spite of this, the Scottish Government has continued to commit to providing above inflation increases in Scotland's health budget and in 2017-18 health spending will exceed £13 billion meaning health funding now stands at record levels."

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