Two in every five NHS consultant vacancies lie unfilled for six months or more, new analysis from Scottish Labour can reveal today.
The number of posts that lie vacant for more than six month has also more than quadrupled since the SNP formed a majority government in 2011.
The posts include Emergency medicine, radiology, general medicine, cardiology, dermatology, neurology, psychiatric specialties, general psychiatry, child & adolescent psychiatry, surgical specialties, general surgery, and paediatrics.
This week independent experts at Audit Scotland exposed the extent of problems in our NHS under the SNP, including huge increases in the use of temporary staff, agency staff and locum doctors all of which are more expensive for our health service.
Scottish Labour said the figures showed the complete failure of the SNP Government in Edinburgh to deliver long term workforce planning in our NHS.
Scottish Labour Public Services Spokesperson Jackie Baillie said:
“Our NHS is Scotland’s most valued public service. Now more than ever we need a health service free at the point of need to deliver the care Scots deserve regardless of how much money they earn.
“Under the SNP Government in Edinburgh our NHS has suffered from a cut to the health budget and huge shortages of staff.
“This research shows that this problem is not confined to one part of our health service; there are long term unfilled posts for emergency medicine, general medicine, psychiatry and paediatrics. This is a problem infecting every part of our NHS workforce.
“Posts going unfilled for more than six months suggests a real problem in work force planning, and means our health service has to turn to more expensive private alternatives like locum doctors.
“The SNP want to be judged on their record of running our NHS. Since they formed a majority government the SNP’s management of our NHS has seen staff undervalued, under resourced and under intolerable pressure. The SNP’s record is not one of which they can be proud of.”