MORE than £14 million has been paid out in the past year by NHS Grampian to treat patients at other health boards in Scotland and England.
New figures released by NHS Grampian under the Freedom of Information Act show the health board paid out almost £14.2m in 2014/15 to send patients to the other health authorities.
It compares to 2013/14, where £14.9m was paid out to send patients to boards elsewhere in Scotland and England.
An NHS Grampian spokeswoman said: “It is important to note that it has always been the case that patients are referred outwith Grampian if, for example, specialist mental ill health or paediatric services are not available locally.
“These referrals are made to NHS and private facilities.
“We anticipate a reduction in referrals to the private sector for elective care as the impact of the significant investment in new theatres and additional staffing take effect.”