By Bill Heaney
The SNP is risking a ‘winter of discontent’ in Scotland’s NHS, Scottish Labour has warned today.
Despite claiming to have been planning for winter pressures for months, the SNP government is yet to outline just how it plans to cope with winter pressures in the NHS.
The NHS is already in crisis.
The following health boards have cancelled elective surgery procedures in recent weeks: Ayrshire and Arran, Borders, Grampian, Fife, Highland, Lanarkshire, Lothian and Greater Glasgow & Clyde, and 600,000 Scots are stuck on NHS waiting lists.
Ambulance services are in disarray, with average wait times rocketing and waits of up to 40 hours recorded. Monthly A&E waiting times are at an all time high, with thousands of Scots waiting hours for treatment. On top of this, over 1,000 people are currently in hospital with Covid-19, case numbers are stubbornly high and experts are warning of a tough Flu season.
At First Minister’s Questions, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was grilled by Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar over soaring ambulance waits. In response, the First Minister suggested that the British Army would be invited to support the service.
Scottish Labour has called on the SNP government to set out exactly how it plans to keep the people of Scotland safe this winter, lest lives be lost.
Scottish Labour health spokesperson Jackie Baillie, pictured right, said: “Winter is looming on the horizon, but SNP mismanagement has already plunged our NHS into crisis.
“Health boards are cancelling surgical procedures, thousands are languishing on waiting lists and A&E and ambulance services are in complete disarray.
“If we are to avoid the crisis in our NHS deepening during the winter we must have action now.
“That the Red Cross and even the Army have now been drafted in shows the extent of the SNP’s failure to protect and support our NHS.
“The SNP urgently need to lay out what provisions they have in place to ensure the people of Scotland are kept safe this winter – there is no time to lose.”