A Labour government would give an additional £134million to the NHS in Scotland through cracking down on tax dodgers, the party has pledged.

Anas Sarwar, the Scottish Labour leader, is expected to discuss details of plans designed to cut hospital waiting lists when he hits the campaign trail in Lanarkshire this morning as the general election looms.

Ahead of his visit to a community trust in Larkhall the party revealed its new funding commitment to the health service north of the Border.

Under proposals from Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves, a further £1.6 billion will be spent on health under a Labour government to reduce NHS waiting lists in England - resulting in an expected £134 million in Barnett consequentials for Scotland.

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The Scottish Government, which controls the NHS north of the border, has repeatedly said it will pass on any and all health consequentials received to the service.

Labour said the additional money for the public purse would be raised by cracking down on tax dodgers.

The party said the funds that would be made available to Scotland’s NHS from the plan would be used to modernise care and drive down waiting lists.

It estimated that the equivalent to 160,000 more appointments for diagnostics and procedures every year would be generated from the new investment.

Speaking ahead of the campaign day, Mr Sarwar said: "After 17 years of SNP misrule, Scotland's NHS is on its knees with patients and staff paying the price of SNP incompetence.

"The NHS is Labour's greatest achievement but the fact is that it's very existence is at threat under the SNP.

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"Labour's bold plans to crack down on tax dodgers will deliver vital funds to get Scotland's NHS back on track, cut waiting lists and help patients.

"This is the difference that a Labour government can and will make to the people of Scotland."

First Minister Humza Yousaf last week pledged to reduce the number of patients waiting too long for NHS treatment as he announced that £30 million will be spent on tackling the issue over the next three months.

The Herald: Humza Yousaf and deputy FM Shona RobisonFirst Minister Humza Yousaf and Deputy First Minister Shona Robison.   Photo PA.

The cash is the first tranche from a total pot of £300 million which the Scottish Government has pledged to spend addressing backlogs in the health service over the next three years.

The initial cash will be targeted to waiting lists built up during the Covid pandemic, including for orthopaedic treatment and diagnostic tests for those suspected of having cancer, as well as speeding up care for patients who have suffered the longest waits.

By the end of 2023, there were 824,725 people in Scotland waiting for a planned procedure, an outpatient appointment, or diagnostic tests such as CT scans and colonoscopies on the NHS.

The statistics from Public Health Scotland revealed that this included 17,761 Scots who had been waiting 18 months or more to be admitted to hospital for inpatient or day case treatment, despite a previous pledge to eradicate such lengthy waits by September 2023.

More than 7000 had been waiting at least two years, while 1,446 patients had been on the list for three years or longer.

The Scottish Government estimates its £300m three year investment will cut the number of patients on NHS waiting lists by 100,000 patients over that period.

Mr Yousaf announced the initial £30m spend during an Easter Monday visit to the National Treatment Centre in Fife, which was opened exactly one year ago.

SNP MSP Emma Harper, who is a registered nurse and sits on Holyrood’s Health Committee, said: “When it comes to threats to Scotland’s NHS, Anas Sarwar would do well to take a look in the mirror.

“Just this week would-be Labour Health Secretary Wes Streeting pledged to force greater private sector involvement in our NHS, threatening to withhold funding without it – which Mr Sarwar has remained noticeably silent on.

“The Labour Party under Sir Keir Starmer have shown their true colours, supporting a damaging Brexit, nonsensical Tory economic orthodoxy and hostile immigration policies.

“The SNP meanwhile are standing up for Scotland’s values at Westminster and providing a real terms increase in funding for Scotland’s health service, despite significant Tory cuts.   

“Labour’s values are not Scotland’s values, and Sir Keir Starmer cannot be trusted with our NHS – only the SNP will protect our public services and ensure that free healthcare remains free at the point of need.”

Scottish Tory deputy health spokeswoman Tess White said the health service was in need of "urgent reform" and that her party had set out plans to recruit 1,000 more GPs, increase primary care funding and improve digitisation.

"A combination of the SNP's dire workforce planning and Humza Yousaf's flimsy Covid recovery plan have seen waiting times spiralling out of control, leading to tragic and avoidable deaths because there simply isn't enough capacity in the NHS," she said.

"It's clear that urgent reform is needed to ensure the NHS is sustainable, and that means addressing both capacity and demand."

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has previously said his "working assumption" is for a general election to be held in the second half of this year.