HUMZA Yousaf has been told to step down as Scotland’s health secretary after new figures revealed one in seven people are now awaiting NHS treatment.
New statistics show that the number of people on waiting lists for hospital procedures, outpatient appointments and diagnostic tests has skyrocketed to 776,341, the equivalent of one in seven Scots.
As of September 30, 474,600 patients were waiting for outpatient procedures, 141,796 patients were waiting for hospital procedures, and 159,945 patients were waiting to be seen for one of eight key diagnostic tests, bringing the total to 776,341.
As of the end of September, 2,114 people referred for an outpatient appointment and 7,612 people awaiting an outpatient procedure or hospitalization already had more than two years to wait. The Scottish government has noted that this has fallen by 20 per cent since July.
But Yousaf had vowed to end the wait of more than two years by the end of September.
Calls have been made for Mr Yousaf to step down as health secretary and allow someone else to be responsible for reviving the NHS.
Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Dr Sandesh Gulhane has called the “disgraceful figures” “a time bomb”.
He said: “It is staggering that the number of patients waiting in NHS backlogs has now reached over three-quarters of a million.
“Any delay in getting a diagnosis or starting treatment can send a patient downhill quickly, at the very least prolonging their suffering and, at worst, leading to preventable deaths.
“Addressing Scotland’s massive treatment delays should have been the cornerstone of our Covid recovery strategy, but Humza Yousaf’s flimsy recovery plan has only seen delays increase since the pandemic.
“Humza Yousaf has proven utterly unfit for the task of saving our NHS, and his promises to get things back on track over a period of years will be cold comfort to the many patients who face unacceptable waits for treatment or tests at this time. .
“Nicola Sturgeon must urgently intervene and fire her failed health secretary before more patients suffer as a result of her incompetence.”
Scottish Labor health spokesperson Jackie Baillie said: “The facts are plain for all to see: one in seven Scots languishes on NHS waiting lists and thousands wait years for care.
“These are not just numbers, these are real people suffering from pain, worry and anxiety over the incompetence of the SNP.”
He added: “The growing number of patients on waiting lists risks Scots losing their lives before receiving vital treatment and will force more and more into the arms of private medicine.
“Make no mistake, Humza Yousaf’s incompetence is risking lives and creating the two-tier health service.
“Hundreds of thousands of lives and the very survival of our NHS are at stake – it is time for the worst health secretary since devolution to be sacked.”
Scottish LibDems leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has also called for Yousaf’s resignation if he cannot turn things around.
He said: “The increasing number of people on NHS waiting lists reveals the extent to which this SNP-Green coalition has been ignoring and misdirecting our healthcare crisis. It is an insult to the doctors, nurses and patients who are waiting in pain.
“The crisis in our NHS is severe and significant action is needed. With 1 in 7 Scots now on the waiting list, it is time for Humza Yousaf to take the lead and turn his attention to addressing this emergency.”
Cole-Hamilton added: “Scottish Liberal Democrats have repeatedly called for a burnout prevention strategy and staff assembly and social care, but have been ignored time and time again by the government.” you will have to go. Staff and patients have been suffering for too long to entertain even more nonsense from this government.”
The Scottish government has pointed to statistics showing that waiting times of more than two years have been reduced by 20% for both outpatients and inpatients.
The number of outpatients waiting for more than two years decreased from 2,633 in the quarter to the end of June to 2,114 for the period from July 1 to September 30, and there was a 22% reduction in the number of patients waiting of more than two years for inpatient and day box procedures.
Mr Yousaf said: “We recognize the impact long waiting times have on a patient, both from a clinical and mental health perspective, so we are announcing ambitious waiting time targets to address the backlog of planned care.
“These figures show that NHS boards and staff are working very hard, during difficult times, to meet these targets and support patients. I can’t thank you enough.”
He added: “We have already seen a great effort to eliminate the backlog caused by the pandemic and we have seen two-year outpatient waits being eliminated in most specialties. This is real progress on our recovery journey, but we must stay focused on these efforts.
“I recognize that the outlook remains extremely difficult, particularly as we approach winter, and this is why our £600m winter plan will see us recruit 1,000 new NHS staff and our £50 unscheduled care collaboration. million seeks to reduce the pressure on A&E through scheduled urgent appointments, hospitalization at home, and referral of people for more appropriate care.”