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by Louise Wilson
03 November 2022
‘Serious issues are mounting’ on NHS, Sturgeon told

‘Serious issues are mounting’ on NHS, Sturgeon told

The First Minister defended her government’s record on the NHS after being warned “serious issues are mounting”.

Challenging Nicola Sturgeon at FMQs, Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said the NHS was “in crisis at every level”.

He said: “Patient scans being sent abroad. Waiting lists – too long before Covid – are now at record levels. The situation at accident and emergency is at the most critical level it’s ever been. And delayed discharge is plaguing our hospitals worse than ever before.”

He also warned planned strikes by NHS staff “could cripple” the health service over winter.

But Sturgeon said the problem was “spending constraints and the impact of Tory mismanagement” of the economy.

She pointed to an increase in NHS workforce numbers but blamed a “global shortage” of specialists including radiologists, going on to blame Brexit and UK Government immigration policy for making it harder to recruit from abroad.

Labour’s Anas Sarwar said the First Minister had “no grip on the NHS crisis” and warned “lives will be lost as a result”.

He said: “The health secretary now says it's going to take another five years to fix the problem – a problem that has been 15 years in the making. After 15 years of SNP government, patients shouldn’t have to wait a minute longer.”

Sturgeon acknowledged waiting times were “not acceptable” but that the “vast majority” of patients received the proper care.

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