The Scottish Conservatives are demanding SNP Health Secretary Jeane Freeman urgently outlines a plan to help those waiting for chronic pain treatment.
The call from the party’s health spokesperson Donald Cameron MSP comes after new figures showed that over half of patients waiting to be seen for the first time were having to wait beyond 18 weeks, the highest percentage in five years.
Over 2,100 patients are now time failing to be seen for the first time within the SNP’s own target waiting time of 18 weeks.
Only last month it was revealed that the situation has become so bad for some patients in Scotland, that they have had to travel to England for vital operations.
Mr Cameron says the situation is leaving many in agony and is threatening to spiral out of control unless SNP Ministers urgently outline how the backlog will be tackled.
Shadow Heath Secretary, Donald Cameron, said: “Thousands of patients, here in the Highlands and Islands, and across Scotland, are now waiting in agony for vital treatment to tackle chronic illnesses and the need for urgent action has never been more apparent."
“As NHS Highland report, due to the pandemic all elective waiting times were cancelled in early March which, in their own words, ‘will have a detrimental effect on waiting times’."
“While it was understandable the number of patients being seen dropped during the height of the pandemic, Jeane Freeman must urgently outline a plan as to how patients waiting for vital operations will be treated as quickly as possible."
“We have seen unacceptable situations of patients from Scotland having to travel to England for treatment and that simply cannot be allowed to continue."
“With health services up and running again, the SNP need to make tackling chronic pain a top priority and end the painful wait for so many patients right across Scotland.”