Craig Hoy, the Conservative Shadow Health Minister told Express.co.uk that despite 14-years at the helm of Scotland, the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon have driven the health service into the ground, leading to record ambulance wait times, a drought of hospital beds and a drug and alcohol death crisis which is now the biggest in western Europe.
His warning comes as waiting times at NHS A&E departments in Scotland worsened again in the week to January 2, with only 71.6 per cent of patients seen and admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours, according to figures from Public Health Scotland (PHS).
Amid the soaring crisis, Mr Hoy warned how the wait times can be deadly for those requiring urgent treatment and something must be done immediately to end the chaos.
He said: “We have seen people waiting record amounts of time for ambulances and at A&E’s.
“And we know that people are in a critical condition the longer it takes for them to get professional medical treatment.
“The more serious and potentially life threatening that is.”
Mr Hoy said the ensuing crises have to be a “wake up call” for the Scottish Government to start acting and solving the spiralling state of Scotland’s NHS.
The crisis hit new depths in November when the number of cancelled planned operations rocketed by 16 percent compared to October.
He said that while COVID-19 pressures have thrown the health service into disarray, there is a still “a wall of silence” on how the SNP plan on tackling the crisis.
He branded the £1 billion SNP plan for NHS recovery (launched in August 2021 to improve care and tackle the backlog) as “a flimsy document” as he demanded a “comprehensive plan” to be in put in place instead.
The Conservative MSP for South Scotland went on to accuse the Nationalists of failing to “fix the roof while the sun was shining” as he alluded to the long-term impact 14-years of SNP power has had on the NHS.
He stressed that while issues have been made worse over the pandemic, especially with hospital bed space and ambulance waiting time, problems they existed before.
Mr Hoy hammered: “This is on Nicola Sturgeon’s watch, this is on Humza Yousef’s watch and it is time they got it fixed and really dealt with this problem once and for all!”
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A separate report from PHS found how the number of hospital beds occupied by patients ready to be discharged dropped by 3 per cent in November.
But this remained 40 percent higher than the figure in November 2020.
Jackie Baillie, Scottish Labour’s health spokesperson, slammed how Ms Sturgeon has presided over a “full-blown NHS crisis” which puts Scots lives on the line.
She told The Scotsman: “Thousands of Scots are waiting in A&E departments and on ever-lengthening waiting lists for treatment – this is unacceptable.”