Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today warned SNP ministers that they need to urgently get to grips with the "herculean" challenges facing the NHS after Audit Scotland warned "crucial building blocks" of reform still need to be put in place.
The new report NHS in Scotland 2017 also found:
- the NHS is struggling to maintain the quality of care
- funding isn't keeping up with the growth in demand, causing health boards to make "unprecedented savings";
- more people are waiting longer to be seen;
- the majority of national performance targets were not met;
- general practice is under pressure;
- and Scotland's health is not improving.
Mr Cole-Hamilton MSP commented:
"This 'state of the health service' report warns that maintaining the quality of care in our NHS is a herculean task. The SNP's stewardship of our NHS for the last decade indicates that it is one they won't be capable of meeting.
"Health professionals have been asked to do more with shrinking resources for too long and the reliance on their goodwill to keep many services going can't continue.
"From children enduring atrocious two-year long waits for mental health care to the shortage of hundreds of GPs, ministers need to get to grips with the current crisis. We must action the necessary long-term reforms Audit Scotland highlights as a matter of urgency. Without this, the NHS will struggle to deliver the world class care that it is famous for and patients won't get the high standard of treatment they need.”