Health secretary Humza Yousaf under pressure to give 'urgent' statement on the NHS
The Scottish Conservatives have called on health secretary Humza Yousaf to deliver a statement on the NHS when parliament is recalled next week.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to update Holyrood on Tuesday on the possible easing of COVID restrictions, but has said the planned dates for the lifting of restrictions are not "set in stone".
However, the Tories called on Yousaf to provide an urgent update on the NHS after three Scottish hospitals declared a "Code black" status to allow staff to work on urgent and emergency cases.
Meanwhile, Jillian Evans, head of health intelligence at NHS Grampian, told BBC Radio Scotland it would "make sense" to defer some operations to ease pressure on hospitals.
Public Health Scotland statistics this week also showed that over 200,000 planned operations have been cancelled or delayed as a result of the pandemic, the Tories said.
Scottish Conservative Shadow Health Secretary Annie Wells said: “It is hugely concerning to see three of Scotland’s NHS boards effectively reach breaking point.
“While parliament is rightly being recalled so that a COVID update is delivered in Holyrood first, time must also be found for the SNP’s health secretary to deliver an urgent statement on the critical issues in our health service.
“Our heroic frontline health service staff are under increasing pressure, particularly in the north of Scotland. Humza Yousaf must address this situation and outline a clear plan as to how the SNP will give increased support to health boards, especially those under significant strain.
“The surge in COVID cases is having a huge impact on staffing levels in our health service. SNP ministers need to explore all ways to ensure more staff having to self-isolate will not continue to mean more and more procedures and treatments cannot be carried out."