Labour’s Dame Jackie Baillie and former Drug Policy Minister Angela Constance.
By Lucy Ashton
Missed MAT targets are a ‘travesty,’ Scottish Labour has said today, as the Scottish Government has failed to fully implement MAT standards 1-5 by April 2023.
In June 2022, Public Health Scotland recommended that MAT standards 1-5 should be fully implemented by April 2023 and standards 6-10 by 2025.
Shockingly, figures released today revealed that for standards 1–5, a meagre 66% are fully implemented.
This marks years of repeated failure after former Drug Policy Minister Angela Constance pledged in March 2021 that all ten standards would be fully embedded across the country by April 2022.
This shocking failure comes as Scotland’s drug death figures hit their worst level in two years earlier this month, despite the Scottish Government declaring it a public health emergency over three and a half years ago.
It also comes as the Scottish Government has chosen its third minister in as many years.
Dame Jackie Baillie has branded this a ‘travesty’ and demanded that action to get MAT back on track must be taken following the statement this afternoon.
The Scottish Labour Drugs Policy spokesperson said: “It’s over three and a half years since the SNP declared drugs deaths a public health emergency, but we are still left with missed targets and broken promises.
“These standards are meant to improve the quality of care for those struggling with substance misuse but patients have been left behind by a government that is more concerned with warm words than real action.
“The SNP’s shocking failure to meet their own targets will only make this national crisis even worse.
“Humza Yousaf must set out a real plan to tackle this issue and ensure that those struggling with substance abuse have access to the care and support they need to get better.”