THE SCOTTISH Tories have refused to say there is a “crisis” in the NHS in England, despite using the term to describe the situation facing Scotland’s health service.
Instead, the party said the NHS faced “enormous challenges” across the UK.
Douglas Ross’s Scottish contingent line echoes the UK government’s refusal to accept that there is a crisis in England’s health service.
Instead, Rishi Sunak’s official spokesman has insisted that the “challenges” facing the NHS are mainly a result of the pandemic and that the necessary funding to get it through the winter has already been provided.
However, Scottish Conservatives have not been shy about calling the pressures facing the NHS in Scotland a “crisis”.
“The Scottish government has been warned for months about the critical situation in our NHS and has done nothing to prevent this crisis,” Ross wrote on Twitter.
Asked by The National if Scottish Conservatives would agree that Ross’s description of an NHS in crisis was also true for England, a party spokesman refused to say so.
Instead, the spokesperson said: “No one would deny that our NHS services across the UK face enormous challenges.
“However, what is undeniable is that the money from the crisis in Scotland stops with Humza Yousaf and the SNPs where the health service is the full responsibility of the Scottish Government.
“Suffering patients and exhausted staff across Scotland have completely lost faith in Humza Yousaf’s ability to make a difference. He is no longer part of the solution and he should be fired for nicola sturgeon.”
The UK government has come under heavy criticism from doctors for denying a crisis in the English NHS.
Dr Vishal Sharma, chairman of the British Medical Association’s advisory committee, told The Guardian that blaming the pandemic for the NHS crisis and not “more than a decade of policy options to reduce investment in the NHS and their workforce is little more than an attempt to rewrite history.”
Sharma continued: “To staff working in the NHS or any patient desperately trying to access care, No 10’s refusal to admit that the NHS is in crisis will seem like wishful thinking. Trying to ensure that ministers are confident that the NHS has all the funding it needs, at a time when families see relatives left at home or in hospital trolleys in pain, is playing the public for a fool.”
TV presenter Dr Hilary Jones has also publicly attacked the Prime Minister for his denial of a crisis.
Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, he said: “For Rishi Sunak and the government to pretend this is not a crisis when more than a dozen trusts have announced critical incidents is not just delusional, as the BMA says, I would say in the in at best it’s an ill-informed error in judgment, at worst it’s outright irresponsibility and incompetence. I’ve never known anything like it.”
Hilary continued: “What are you going to do about it? If this is not a crisis, what is?
“I have never met the NHS in such a bad situation. And if it doesn’t change very quickly, the NHS is finished. It is not sustainable, it is going to collapse”.
In Scotland, Health Secretary Yousaf has said “nothing is off the table” when it comes to tackling problems in Scotland’s NHSAnd he added: “Each option has to be on the table correctly as the oncologists say.
“I met with the Royal College of Emergency Medicine just this [Wednesday] tomorrow, so all options are being considered at the national level due to the magnitude of the pressure we are facing.”