NEW figures show Scotland has more nurses per head of population than south of the Border.

A Parliamentary Question has revealed that while there are 7.5 qualified nurses per 1,000 people in Scotland, the equivalent number for England is just 5.4 qualified nurses.

SNP MSP Bob Doris, deputy convener of the health and sport committee, posed the question. He said: "With more qualified nurses per head of population than in England, NHS Scotland is better placed to ensure that people receive the highest standard of care possible."

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Meanwhile a separate SNP Parliamentary Question showed that NHS Scotland has lower waiting times than NHS England or Wales for a range of common procedures.

The figures show that in 2012/13, patients in Scotland waited an average of 37 days for bypass surgery - compared to 56 days in England and 135 days in Wales.

For a hip replacement, NHS Scotland patients waited on average 67 days compared to 77 days in England and 170 days in Wales.

NHS Scotland patients waited on average 68 days for a knee replacement compared to 82 days in England and 177 in Wales.

Mr Doris said NHS Scotland was outperforming its counterparts on waiting times. "It is by having full responsibility for our own NHS that has allowed us to protect the NHS in Scotland from the deeply damaging privatisation agenda that is undermining services south of the Border," he said.