Healthcare

Our cherished NHS is in crisis because it is not getting the support it needs to rebuild after the pandemic and tackle increased waiting times.

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Our NHS faces its biggest challenge yet as it continues to battle the pressures of Covid and a knock-on backlog in other areas. Recent NHS performance statistics in Scotland are grim and things are likely to get worse over the winter. More than 100,000 patients are waiting for vital tests for conditions such as cancer, while A&E waiting times are at record levels and the army has been summoned to drive ambulances.

The SNP’s plan to tackle the unprecedented backlog was nothing more than a flimsy pamphlet. It failed to include proposals to tackle Long Covid or A&E waiting times and showed that they continue to prioritise another independence referendum over the comprehensive recovery plan our NHS needs.

The Scottish Conservatives have repeatedly called for upfront investment in our NHS to tackle growing waiting times. This needs to be delivered by a taskforce of clinicians with the skills and expertise to ensure those most in need get seen first.

We want to see outpatient appointments and elective surgery made available seven days a week. Remote consultations should be offered where appropriate and the delivery of Early Cancer Diagnostic Centres accelerated to tackle the “hidden backlog” of patients affected by the pandemic.

Ensuring the NHS is fully funded is essential to improving it. That is why in our 2021 manifesto we called for guaranteed funding increases in every year of this Parliament.

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