National Health Service boards in Scotland have been awarded record funding of £8.64 billion for 2009-10, including £385 million for capital projects such as IT and buildings to give the ailing economy a helping hand.

According to the Scottish government, the capital funding for coming financial year will help the NHS aid Scotland's economic recovery, and forms part of the “largest ever programme of investment in NHS infrastructure, with £1.676 billion budgeted for 2008-11, 20% more than for 2005-8”.

The funds earmarked for NHS boards form the largest portion of the total £11.09 billion budget for 2009-10, with the remaining cash to be spent on, amongst other things, supporting family health services and new medical equipment and helping NHS Scotland achieve key national targets.

“This record funding for NHS boards across Scotland underlines this government's unshakeable commitment to our publicly-owned health service,” commented Scotland’s Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon. “With around a third of the entire Scottish budget being spent by NHS Scotland, the health service has a vital role to play in helping our country through the tough times and on the road to economic recovery,” she added.

The announcement follows news that the Scottish government is investing £82 million in new primary care facilities, including standalone dental centres and multi-function healthcare sites across the country.