The SNP government is threatening local NHS services with the axe as the pressure on the health service reaches breaking point, Kezia Dugdale said today.
New figures obtained by Scottish Labour through freedom of information requests revealed the number of working days lost to the NHS because of staff stress increased by 21% in the last two years to more than 287,000.
Earlier this week the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) warned of a deepening GP crisis under the SNP Government, saying that “there has been a further reduction and an ever increasing gap between funding for general practice and that for other areas of healthcare.”
When challenged on cuts to local services at First Minister’s Questions, Nicola Sturgeon refused to give any guarantees about the following:
- The future of Lightburn Hospital in Glasgow
- The future of the children’s ward at St John’s Hospital in Livingston
- The future of emergency care at the Vale of Leven Hospital
- The future of the children’s ward at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley
- Staffing numbers at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
A recent NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde leaked paper revealed plans for £60 million of budget cuts because of reduced funding from the SNP Government.
Earlier this week emails uncovered by Labour MSP Neil Findlay revealed that the SNP Health Minister Shona Robison tried to pressure NHS Lothians officials into delaying a decision on the future of the children’s ward at St John’s Hospital until after the Scottish Parliament election in May.
Kezia Dugdale said:
“The dedicated staff who work in our health service help to bring us into this world and they care for us in our time of need. The delivery of NHS services depends on having motivated and well-supported staff, but this week the scale of the pressure on our NHS because of SNP cuts and mismanagement was exposed.
The fact that the NHS lost more than 287,000 working days because of staff stress reveals the pressure our health service is under. Our NHS is at breaking point and under pressure staff are crying out for help.
Today Nicola Sturgeon could have guaranteed NHS staff and patients that vital local services would be protected, but she didn’t. The SNP say they will protect our NHS but the reality is they are threatening local services with the axe.”