The NHS in Scotland has predicted it could have to cut the equivalent of nearly 4,000 full-time jobs over the next year.
The Scottish health service has forecast the loss of 3,790 positions, including 1,053 administration service jobs and 1,523 nursing posts.
But health secretary Nicola Sturgeon insisted there would be no compulsory redundancies and the figures were “not set in stone”, the BBC has reported.
Scotland’s largest health board, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, previously confirmed plans to cut staff by 1,252 by 2013.
Labour said more than half the reductions in the Greater Glasgow area were nursing posts, while health chiefs in Lothian were cutting 700 jobs, with 500 going in Tayside, almost 600 in Grampian and 100 in Highland.
Jackie Baillie, Labour’s health spokeswoman, said: “You simply cannot remove thousands of doctors, nurses and midwives from the NHS without damaging standards of care.
“Labour believe these cuts are unacceptable and we will campaign relentlessly to defend the NHS.”
But the Conservative health spokesman, Murdo Fraser, said: “There are savings to be made and we reject the nonsense this will automatically have an impact on patient care.”