Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton has today said the SNP must be honest over the pressures facing the NHS after new analysis showed hospitals have carried out 14,000 fewer operations in 2017 than the year before.
Analysis by The Times revealed the number of operations this year fell 7% compared to 2016. NHS Grampian performed 17% (3,741) fewer operations, the largest decrease of any health board.
Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
"NHS staff are clear that funding and staffing aren't keeping up with demand. Grampian are conducting fewer operations because they just can't get the staff. As a result, thousands of operations aren't taking place. Waiting times are intolerable, leaving people in pain, causing stress and disrupting lives.
"It often seems that there is no part of our NHS that is not under real strain. GPs are struggling. Nurses are overstretched. Cancer targets have been missed. Children have been forced to wait two years for mental health treatment. Now we see operations on the decline as well. This is a picture of a health service under enormous pressure and in need of more support.
"The SNP Government needs to be honest with the public about the current situation within the NHS. Given it will take time to resolve the staffing crisis they created, people will wonder how many people will be left without the operations they need."