Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has branded the SNP Government’s record on tackling long cancer waiting times as “simply unacceptable” after new figures show that it has been 54 months since it last met the 62-day waiting time target.
Figures published today by ISD Scotland show that performance continues to fall short, with only 2 of 14 NHS boards meeting the 62-day cancer treatment target. The last time the target was met was in the quarter of October-December 2012 which means the Scottish Government has repeatedly failed to reach the target for 54 consecutive months.
Figures also revealed a patient waiting 315 days for treatment.
Commenting, Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
“It has been 54 months of failure by the SNP when it has come to ensuring people get access to urgent cancer treatment as fast as possible. We have seen patients who have received referrals then waiting hundreds of days to start their treatment.
“It is simply unacceptable that people are left to wait. It’s not fair on patients and their loved ones who are facing unnecessary anxiety and pain by excessive waits for treatment.
“The need for the Scottish Government to meet these targets could not be simpler - early diagnosis and treatment saves lives. With targets being missed year after year, campaigners are right to call for urgent action. NHS staff must have the resources they need to be able to turn this around.”