Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart has called on the Scottish Government to take urgent action to address the on-going problems in Scotland’s NHS.
Ms McTaggart made her calls during a debate at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 18th February.
During her speech, Ms McTaggart highlighted the chronic lack of parking spaces that will be available for staff at the new Southern General Hospital in Glasgow; the A&E crisis whereby 31% of patients waited longer than 4 hours to be treated at Glasgow’s Western Infirmary in December of last year; and the SNP Governments U-turn on the weekly reporting of A&E figures following repeated pressure from Scottish Labour.
This follows Scottish Labour setting out their vision for a more transparent NHS, pledging to establish regular reporting of operations when in Government, as well as weekly reporting of A&E statistics and a user-friendly website to give people the information they need.
Ms McTaggart said “We know that Scotland’s NHS faces significant pressures while, at the same time, it must make major changes to services in order to meet future needs. However, it is simply unacceptable that our hard-pressed NHS staff should have to worry about parking. Many nurses and doctors work shifts that require them to be in early and leave late in the darkness. Their safety, as well as ease of transport, should be a priority. That should have been monitored by the Scottish Government so that the issue could have been foreseen and tackled.
“It is also clear that our hospitals are understaffed. Scottish Labour has highlighted time and again the daily problems that face hard-working NHS staff across Scotland. More doctors and nurses are needed in our A&E departments. Scottish Labour had one principal demand for the Scottish budget: protect the NHS with an additional £100 million of front-line funds. That would have allowed hospitals that are facing extra pressure to plan surgery at the weekend and diagnostics in the evening.
“There are serious problems in Scotland’s health service and a lot of secrecy about important statistics and I welcome the decision to publish weekly reports on A&E figures. Behind each of those statistics however, vulnerable patients and their families are suffering. That is why the Government needs to take urgent action right now, as there is no time to waste.”
You can read Ms McTaggart’s speech here.