Cabinet Secretary Jeane Freeman and Jackie Baillie MSP.
By Democrat reporter
More than 1,800 patients in chronic pain have been forced to wait longer than they should have for treatment from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde since Jeane Freeman became health secretary, official figures show.
New figures from ISD Scotland show that, between April 1 and June 30, 551 patients waited more than 18 weeks to attend their first appointment at a pain clinic after referral, the equivalent of 84% of patients.
Jackie Baillie MSP has revealed that in total 1,834 patients in chronic pain have waited beyond the SNP’s key waiting time target since Jeane Freeman was appointed Health Secretary.
The shocking figures have been revealed after chronic pain services across the country were handed just £27,000 out of a £535 million fund to tackle waiting times by the Scottish Government, less than 0.1% of the fund’s total.
Jackie Baillie said: “Thousands of patients in chronic pain have been forced to wait too long for treatment. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde account for more than a third of the total number of patients waiting too long across Scotland – a staggering figure.
“No one struggling in pain should be left to wait over four months to be seen for their first appointment.
“Despite the clear need for action to cut waiting times in this area, the SNP Government has provided a paltry £27,000 to tackle this national crisis.
“Despite the best efforts of hard-working NHS staff, performance is going backwards in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, having increased from 156 patients waiting too long between July and September last year, to more than 500 patients waiting too long between April and June this year.
“It’s time that the SNP Government apologised and showed some leadership by finally giving health boards the resources they need.”