A SCOTTISH health authority is planning to spend a whopping billion pounds on new hospitals over the next decade.
NHS Lothian is hoping the huge cash investment will create work for thousands of Scots and help to boost the area’s economy.
The authority’s ambitious plans include the building of four brand new hospitals and a number of health centres, along with investing in state-of-the-art medical equipment.
Professor James Barbour, Chief Executive of NHS Lothian, said: “NHS Lothian, like all public bodies, has an important role in supporting economic activity during this difficult time.
“Our investment plans are being given further impetus by current economic conditions, and we are working with the Scottish Government to ensure we play our part in creating jobs and supporting families through our building programme.
“The BioQuarter development will see the creation of a world class cluster of biotechnology enterprises in very close proximity to both the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, the new Royal Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Edinburgh’s Medical School.
“In addition, as the area’s largest employer, we are playing a role in creating direct employment and are looking at expanding our apprenticeship programmes.
“We receive considerable public funding and we will ensure that we spend a fair share of it locally while getting value for money for our patients.”
New hospitals and medical centres planned
NHS Lothian’s new 10 year capital investment programme will introduce a new children’s hospital, a new medicine for the elderly hospital and a new hospital in Midlothian.
There will also be a newly-built community treatment centre in East Lothian, along with a number of new and refurbished health centres across Lothian.
Professor Sir John Savill, a non-executive director of NHS Lothian’s board and Head of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, said: “These economic conditions could be seen as an opportunity for public sector bodies to show leadership and carry out ambitious programmes of this nature.
“That’s certainly what our partnership at the BioQuarter development is setting out to achieve.”
Financial experts for the authority say the ambitious plans will not be affected by the recent credit crunch and the effects of the global downturn in property.
The first children’s hospital in Edinburgh opened in 1860, and the new Royal Hospital for Sick Children to be built at Little France will be the fifth Children’s hospital built in the capital.