Patients with chronic back pain in Scotland were sent for treatment in England by the NHS in Scotland, which has reportedly spent £200,000 for this issue.
Labour MSP Jackie Baillie obtained figures, which showed that 21 patients were sent for treatment in Bath, near Bristol in 2010-11. The figures showed that these patients were treated at Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases in Bath at a cost of £206,685.
"Forcing patients who are already suffering from painful conditions to endure long journeys away from friends and family to receive treatment should be avoided if at all possible," Ms Ballie said. "As a matter of urgency, the health secretary, Nicola Sturgeon, must look at what can be done to provide patients with appropriate care closer to home."
Ms Sturgeon said that the hospital in question is a highly specialized residential pain management facility. She added that the government was exploring whether there is a role for a residential pain management facility as part of the overall service provision in Scotland.