Jeane Freeman, FM Nicola Sturgeon and Jackie Baillie MSP.

By Bill Heaney

Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond, has called the Scottish Government hypocritical for the threats that it has made to health boards in regards to testing targets.

Nicola Sturgeon and Jeane Freeman, the Cabinet Secretary for Health, announced that they would ‘name and shame’ the health boards who are failing to meet Covid-19 testing targets.

However, the Scottish Government has not only consistently failed to meet its own Scotland-wide testing targets, but six out of the eleven health boards in Scotland are in special measures – meaning that the Scottish Government has intervened to run them directly.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is one of the health boards that is currently in special measures.

Scotland has one of the highest per capita death rates of all the countries that have been badly affected by Covid-19.

Jackie Baillie has repeatedly called for constant testing of all symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.

virus test centre

Coronavirus testing centre, MSP says Scottish targets are not being met.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, the World Health Organisation has said that the best way to tackle the virus is to ‘test, test, test’. So far, just over 2% of Scotland’s population has been tested.

Jackie Baillie said:  “The Scottish Government should really check that it is managing to meet its own targets before criticising others.

“The number of tests that have been carried out by the Scottish Government is shameful and consistently below the number of tests that are being promised.

“We won’t be able to fight this virus effectively, or continue to ease lockdown, until we have an accurate idea of the infection rates in Scotland. As of yet, the number of tests carried out are not nearly enough to paint a clear picture.

“Leading health experts from the WHO have been telling us to ‘test, test, test’ for months. Either the Scottish Government thinks it knows better than these experts or it’s just not listening. Regardless, people are continuing to catch the virus and die as a result.”

Cllr Jonathan McColl, leader of the SNP administration at West Dunbartonshire Council and member of the Glasgow and Clyde Health Board, refused to comment to The Democrat. 

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