Humza Yousaf ‘humbled and daunted’ as he takes on health and social care brief in Scotland

Humza Yousaf has said he is “humbled and a little daunted” as he takes on the role of Health Secretary in Nicola Sturgeon’s new Cabinet.

He moves from the justice role to being the minister responsible for the NHS and social care.

This will include NHS remobilisation after the pandemic and the establishment of a National Care Service.

Ahead of the election, the SNP pledged a “transformational” increase in NHS spending and a new national service which would oversee the delivery of social care.

Tweeting about his new appointment, Mr Yousaf (pictured) said: “Humbled, and a little daunted, by task ahead.

“I will put political differences aside & work constructively with colleagues across the Chamber & externally to ensure we put pandemic response & recovery at the heart of our health & social care service.”

Figures in the health sector welcomed Mr Yousaf to his new role.

Dr Lewis Morrison of BMA Scotland said: “I hope that working in genuine partnership we can build on the innovation and leadership healthcare professionals have shown through the Covid-19 pandemic as NHS Scotland recovers and we ensure it is fit for purpose for the years to come.

“This new administration and the Cabinet Secretary must be realistic about what doctors and NHS Scotland are able to deliver with current staff and resources, especially as Covid will continue to have an impact on almost everything we do for a long time to come.”

Professor Angela Thomas, acting president of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, said: “Our policy priorities for the Scottish Parliament election called for action on a range of areas, including health service recovery and re-design, workforce planning and training, public health and wellbeing, and health and social care integration.

“In particular, we want to see bold action on drug-related deaths, action to support long Covid patients, removal of barriers to exercise, and the introduction of a Bill to restrict price promotions on food and drink high in fat, salt and sugar, which has been much delayed.”

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