It is "unacceptable" that end of life healthcare for dementia patients can be based on the ability to pay, the Scottish Greens have said.

Alison Johnstone, the party's health spokeswoman said specialist nursing should be a right for people with advanced dementia rather than a "financial burden" and called for greater integration between health and social care services.

The Greens have backed a campaign by the Evening Times and our sister title the Herald which aims to end health care costs for people whose dementia has progressed to the stage where they require 24-hour nursing care.

The charity Alzheimer Scotland says patients face a major health inequality because dementia is not treated like other terminal illnesses, where specialist nursing is free at the point of need.

READ MORE: Glasgow SNP MSP Sandra White backs free care for advanced dementia patients

As part of our Think Dementia campaign we are asking each of the political parties to commit to a manifesto pledge, ahead of the 2021 elections, in support of free end of life health care for advanced dementia.

The Scottish Government has said it is considering Alzheimer Scotland's Fair Care report.

READ MORE: 'This is an injustice and an inequality': Government urged to end 'unfair' dementia health charges

Alison Johnstone, MSP for Lothian, said: “We need to make sure that care is not based on the ability to pay, and stays true to the ethos of the NHS. "We have started to integrate health and social care in Scotland, but that means we should be providing care that is free at the point of use in both . "As it sits in social care, currently dementia care can be based on the ability to pay, and that is not acceptable.

“Dementia is now the leading cause of death for women in Scotland.

"What’s more, it is an incurable condition which leads to slow decline, often running alongside other health problems.

"Specialist nursing and care settings for people suffering from these conditions should be a right, not a financial burden for families.”

The Evening Times is calling for improvements to the post-diagnostic support offered to patients, which Alzheimer Scotland estimates is only reaching around 50% of families. More of our campaign aims will be announced in the coming weeks.

To support the Fair Care campaign go to