HEALTH Secretary Humza Yousaf has hit back after a BBC report claimed the NHS in Scotland was considering charging people for treatment.

A story released on the BBC’s website stated that there had been “discussion of a 'two-tier' health service mentioned in draft minutes of a meeting of NHS Scotland health board chief executives in September”.

Its headline read: “NHS chiefs in Scotland discuss having wealthy pay for treatment”.

The article explained that the meeting raised the possibility of “curtailing some free prescriptions”.

It also said the minutes of the meeting discussed a “billion-pound hole” in the budget for the NHS and that they warned “unscheduled care is going to fall over in the near term before planned care falls over”.

READ MORE: The truth about Scotland's NHS: 'Crisis goes back to coalition'

The story was subsequently followed up with a phone-in on Good Morning Scotland. Host Kaye Adams said: “We just really want to know what people make, well I say make of this suggestion, Humza Yousaf of course has ruled it out, but still it’s on the table and I think people are surprised that it’s even being discussed and what you can’t get away from is the billion-pound hole in the NHS budget.”

Humza Yousaf re-tweeted the original BBC article and said that any suggestion of any form of privatisation was “complete baloney”.

Writing on social media, the Scottish Health Secretary said: “SNP-led ScotGovt has never contemplated charging anyone, regardless of wealth for treatment on NHS, never will.

“Our record demonstrates our commitment to NHS core values; abolishing prescription charges, removal of dental charges for young people, continued funding free eye tests.

“Any suggestion otherwise is, frankly, complete baloney.”

Executives at the top of the NHS had been given the "green light to present what boards feel reform may look like", according to the BBC report.

However, the Health Secretary insisted the Scottish Government would not have countenanced privatising the NHS in any form. 

Many took to social media to slam the broadcaster for the way in which the story was presented.

National columnist Ruth Wishart re-tweeted the clip from Good Morning Scotland with the caption: “A story totally rubbished by the cab sec for health and based on draft minutes from health board chief executives rather than Scot Gov.”

Writer Cameron McNeish replied to Wishart’s tweet and said: “Nevertheless, older people throughout Scotland will be worried sick by the way @BBCScot has presented this.

“Hugely irresponsible politicking from our supposed national broadcaster.”

SNP MSP Karen Adam also tweeted: “Contrast that with a British TV show having experts on to help with money saving tips, like ‘do you qualify for free prescriptions?’

“I hope they let all their viewers know that in Scotland they are and always will be free under the SNP.

“It’s outrageous to charge for medicine.”

A BBC spokesperson said: "Reporting on the NHS in Scotland is very important for our audience.

"They have a right to know what those leading the NHS in Scotland are discussing - and that’s what we’ve been reporting today.”