The SNP must get to grips with a “ticking timebomb” when it comes to operation backlogs across the NHS, the Scottish Conservatives have said.
The calls from Shadow Health Secretary Miles Briggs come after the latest statistics showed that almost 20,000 fewer operations were carried out in June than the same month in 2019.
While there has been an increase in operations since 4120 were carried out in May, the party are calling on the SNP Government to ensure that health services have sufficient resources in order to ensure patients aren’t waiting any longer than necessary for operations.
Mr Briggs says that it is concerning that there are many reports of patients having to spend substantial sums on travelling down south in order to deal with chronic pain.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman must give a guarantee that the backlog will not cause an increase in waiting times for patients who have already been waiting weeks and months for vital treatment.
Commenting, Miles Briggs MSP said: “The continued backlog of operations across health boards is a huge concern for patients who have already been suffering in recent weeks and months.
“While it was right our NHS was focused on tackling Covid-19, there needs to be an urgent plan from the SNP Government to ensure that the backlog doesn’t spiral out of control and waiting time targets are routinely missed again.
“Right now, they are facing a ticking timebomb when it comes to targets for patients to be seen.
“With almost 20,000 fewer operations than last year, it shows the scale of the challenge our health boards are facing and the SNP must ensure the are properly funded and supported.
“It is already extremely concerning to hear of patients travelling down south in order to tackle chronic pain issues as a result of the SNP failing to get health services up and running more quickly.
“While the safety of patients is paramount, there still appears to be a lack of urgency from Jeane Freeman and the SNP as to how to tackle the backlog of operations.
“This should be rectified as a matter of urgency to give renewed hope to patients waiting on operations.”