A RECENT report by Audit Scotland revealed that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has the second worst record in Scotland for failing to hit their performance standards, with NHS Lothian taking the top spot. 

For accident and emergency services, only 90.7 per cent of patients were seen within the recommended four hours, dramatically lower than the standard target of 98 per cent. 

Additionally, the percentage of patients beginning their cancer treatment within 62 days was the second lowest in Scotland, just 83.3 per cent, compared to the national average of 88.1 per cent.

Overall, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde failed to meet six out of the eight performance standards set out in the Audit Scotland report. This is unacceptable on every level.

The SNP has continuously mismanaged NHS Scotland for the last 10 years. Since then, both the Scottish Conservatives and Audit Scotland have called for change within the NHS to better serve our communities. However, what we have gotten is the status quo: the same old SNP and the same old problems. They continually fail to acknowledge that there is even a problem. 

In Greater Glasgow and Clyde, as well as across Scotland, the NHS has been struggling with staffing needs, which negatively impacts patient referral and waiting times, especially for general practice. The Royal College of GPs has warned that Scotland will face a shortfall of 850 GP by 2021. 
Since 2008, some 3,000 Scottish-trained doctors have left the country in order to work abroad. Last year, a major Scottish Government campaign that aimed to recruit 100 new GPs ended up recruiting only 37.

The Audit Scotland report also criticised the SNP for a lack of long-term planning, suggesting that the existing governance and financial practices are unsustainable. Current customs have left healthcare fragmented with various actors often working against each other because of lacking leadership.

I have joined my Conservative colleagues to demand that the SNP to take action. Thus far, they have failed to address staff shortages, failed to improve management, and failed to create a long term plan for NHS Scotland. 

Of course, transforming the NHS is no easy task. But what we don’t see from the SNP is a commitment to change. Their mismanagement is forcing the people of Greater Glasgow and Clyde to bear the brunt of the SNP’s policy decisions.

NHS Scotland will celebrate its 70th anniversary next year. That is certainly something to celebrate, but the SNP has yet to show that it can be trusted to run our NHS.

It is any wonder that people in Greenock are so disenfranchised with the state of their local healthcare providers?

The simple fact is that us folk in the west get a raw deal when it comes to our hospitals and our GP surgeries.

If the SNP hadn’t spent every ounce of its energy planning for independence and instead took some time to plan to train and recruit doctors and nurses, we might not be in the situation that we’re in now.