FMQs: Sturgeon losing her grip on Covid as NHS ‘in crisis’

Nicola Sturgeon has been criticised for “losing her grip on Covid” and letting the NHS fall into “crisis”.

At First Minister’s Questions, Douglas Ross highlighted enormous waiting times and cited statistics that A&E times are at six-year highs, drug deaths at seven-year highs, and alcohol deaths at eight-year highs.

The Scottish Conservative Leader said the SNP’s NHS recovery plan didn’t even mention Long Covid, as reports on Thursday revealed thousands of Long Covid patients have not been referred to a support service.

Douglas Ross also criticised the government’s lack of key answers over vaccine passports. He said the suggestion from John Swinney that they could be made permanent at Covid committee on Thursday will “worry people across Scotland.”

Hospitality groups have said the lack of engagement over vaccine passports is “extremely concerning” and Scottish football clubs have warned the SNP’s plan is “completely unworkable.”

Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross said: “The SNP Government used to grandstand about its handling of the pandemic. We don’t hear those boasts often anymore. 

“Nicola Sturgeon refused to answer questions on vaccine passports. We heard nothing about what infrastructure will be in place, who will administer it or what financial support will be available.

“A month ago, John Swinney was against vaccine passports but now, he’s suggested they could be permanent, which will worry people across Scotland.

“We heard today that thousands of long Covid patients in Scotland are not being referred to a support service -  yet the SNP’s flimsy Recovery Plan did not contain a single mention of Long Covid.

“A&E waiting times are the worst in six years. Drug deaths are the worst in seven years. Alcohol deaths are the worst in eight years. People can’t get in to see their GP and are waiting hours for an ambulance.

“Nicola Sturgeon is losing her grip on Covid and the NHS is in crisis.

“The pressure is only going to build as we move towards winter. Scotland’s NHS needs a real plan now to get our health service back on track, not the flimsy pamphlet that Humza Yousaf has produced.”

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