Douglas Ross claims Nicola Sturgeon in denial about Humza Yousaf’s two-tier NHS.
By Bill Heaney
Nicola Sturgeon was accused in the Scottish Parliament today of being “in denial” about Health Secretary Humza Yousaf’s two-tier NHS.
At First Minister’s Questions, Douglas Ross raised reports of a meeting of health chiefs at which they raised concerns that Scotland’s NHS is becoming a “two-tier system” and the Health Secretary is “divorced from reality”.
The Scottish Conservative leader said it was proof that the Health Secretary has completely lost control of Scotland’s NHS.
On Monday this week, a memo leaked to the BBC revealed that NHS leaders in Scotland had held secret talks about privatising parts of Scotland’s NHS.
They had discussed a two-tier health service where some patients would have to pay for treatment and prescriptions.
Reports said the document showed that health boards had received the “green light” from leadership to present their ideas for reforms.
It was reportedly said that “areas which were previously not viable options are now possibilities”.
The minutes of this meeting of NHS chiefs also claim there is a disconnect between what’s happening on the frontline and what the Health Secretary thinks is happening.
Nicola Sturgeon denied that she or Humza Yousaf had authorised the discussion on privatisation and said she would “take no lessons” from the Conservatives on the NHS.
Douglas Ross responded: “Sadly, in Sturgeon’s Scotland, no-one is getting any lessons today because teachers are on strike.”
He added: “These reported plans are completely against the founding principles of our NHS.
“The First Minister likes to scaremonger about NHS privatisation, but it’s already on the table in the SNP-run health service.
“Humza Yousaf’s two-tier NHS is already a reality. Far too many patients across Scotland are already unable to access treatment and forced to go private for healthcare, which is an option only available to more wealthy people.
“The First Minister is in denial about how badly her Health Secretary is handling the NHS crisis.
“There is clearly a complete breakdown of communication between NHS chiefs and the SNP Government.
“If the First Minister is to be believed, NHS chiefs are not listening to the Health Secretary and going off to try and fix the NHS on their own.
“The shambles surrounding this meeting confirms that Humza Yousaf has completely lost control of Scotland’s NHS.
“NHS chiefs are right that he has become ‘divorced from reality’. There is a serious disconnect between what’s happening on the frontline and what the Health Secretary thinks is happening.
“Scotland’s patients will suffer every day that Humza Yousaf remains in post. He must be sacked.”