A Scottish Parliament report from the Health and Sport Committee has raised concerns around the backlog of NHS operations due to COVID-19, and has called for action from the Scottish government.
Figures suggest just under 60,000 planned operations took place in Scottish hospitals from March to August of this year, compared to 168,000 over the same period in 2019. The Committee has said detail must be provided on when the backlog of NHS work caused by the pandemic will be resolved and is seeking clarity over budgeting to help handle the logjam, stating that more effort is needed to identify spending outcomes. Currently health and social care spending accounts for over 50% of the Scottish budget.
Commenting on the committee’s finding, Jackie Baillie MSP for Dumbarton Constituency said:
“Under the SNP, the NHS was in distress before the pandemic and waiting lists were spiralling out of control.
“The report reinforces my concerns over the handling of the pandemic, and the committee is right to highlight the issues around cancelled operations which I know has affected many people in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute.
“I have long been calling for rapid asymptomatic testing to be made available, which would go some way to easing the pressures, which is why I backed a vote in Parliament on widespread testing for health and social care workers.
“The SNP government has been slow to act and people in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute face significantly longer waiting times for operations.
“This report should be a wake-up call to Ministers to take urgent action to ensure the NHS is there for everyone who needs it.”