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NHS becomes key battleground for rival parties

The NHS has become a key election battleground with a Conservatives pledge of an extra £8 billion a year for the NHS in England by 2020. Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats have attacked the announcement as an "unfunded" spending commitment.

Meanwhile, Labour is pledging one-to-one midwife care for every woman during childbirth as it launches its health manifesto.

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Sturgeon: SNP 'only party with funded plans for NHS'

Nicola Sturgeon has said the SNP “is the only party to put forward funded plans for the NHS across the whole of the UK, meeting the £8 billion challenge in England and providing a total increase of £2 billion for Scotland's NHS".

"Without genuine additional funding these Tory plans will see cuts to services like social care, police and local government - all of which are vital in keeping the pressure off the NHS", she added.

Scotland's First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon is critical of Tory and Labour plans for the NHS Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

"This is a clear illustration of why Tory austerity must end if we are to properly protect our public services.

"Meanwhile, Labour's failure to commit to match our NHS spending plans for Scotland is another reason why voters are backing a strong team of SNP MPs to protect Scotland's health service."

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