May 29, 2018 Blog

Waiting Times For Key Clinical Tests Branded Unacceptable

– 1 in 5 wait longer than six weeks 

Labour has branded waiting times for key diagnostic test for conditions such as cancer unacceptable, as new figures reveal almost 18,000 cases were taking longer than they should have in new data published today.

That means that 80.6 per cent of patients waiting for a key diagnostic test at 31 March 2018 had been waiting less than six weeks  – a drop of almost 7 per cent compared to March the previous year.

A standard waiting time of six weeks was set by the Scottish Government in 2009 for diagnostic tests such as CT and MRI scans to aid early detection of conditions like cancer or brain tumours.

However, new figures released today show at least 17,139 as of March this year were waiting longer than the 6 week expected standard.

Labour said the figures were unacceptable, and are rooted in the SNP government’s long term mismanagement of NHS in Scotland.

Labour Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health Anas Sarwar said: 

“These figures are frankly unacceptable. Too many patients are waiting too long for these key tests.

“These standards are in place to ensure that people with potentially serious conditions get the benefit of early detection and have the best possible chance of a full recovery.

“Instead, the SNP government is presiding over growing waiting lists for patients and growing pressures on our NHS staff.

“We know the SNP Government has completely failed to workforce plan properly. Soaring vacancies for consultants and increasing vacancies for nurses are symptomatic of that.

“Nicola Sturgeon needs to put the NHS before the SNP – and find a new health secretary to deliver better support for our health service.”