Audit Scotland Report “NHS in Scotland 2023”

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 22 February 2024.

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Photo of Jackie Baillie Jackie Baillie Labour

Scotland’s national health service is directionless, risking patient safety and on the brink of breakdown. Those are not my words—that is Audit Scotland’s assessment of the NHS under the Scottish National Party.

In a devastating critique of the Government, it points to a health service at breaking point, with extreme overcrowding and long waiting times threatening patient safety. It accuses the SNP Government of having no vision and calls for fundamental reform.

The need for leadership is clear, but leadership is absent. After 17 years of decline under the SNP, what reforms will the First Minister bring forward to save our NHS?

Photo of Humza Yousaf Humza Yousaf Scottish National Party

We will bring forward reforms, which the Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care will detail.

We will work with staff to see what we can do and what more we can invest in the preventative space in particular, so that individuals do not have to go to secondary or primary care—particularly not to secondary care, when we know that there is intense pressure on our hospital sites up and down the country.

Let me remind Jackie Baillie that, after 17 years, we have record staffing, record investment and the best-paid staff in the NHS. We are the only country in the entire United Kingdom that has not lost a single day to strike action. I stand to be corrected, but I think that there are junior doctor strikes in Labour-run NHS Wales today.

We will continue to invest in our NHS and, most importantly, in the people who run it—our nurses, doctors and all the NHS agenda for change staff, who do an incredible job. We promise to continue to work with them for the best possible outcomes for patients across Scotland.