New Scottish Liberal Democrat analysis has shown that 210,000 scheduled operations have now been lost to the pandemic and the party has warned that it will need "every ounce" of the government's energy to power through the backlog and end painful waits for patients.
Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP commented:
"These new statistics show the scale of the covid's impact. NHS staff have worked around the clock to protect people from the virus. However, the loss of routine procedures means people are in pain and can't get on with life.
"Patients and staff can't afford any distractions because the backlog is still growing. Catching up on lost treatments and delayed operations is going to need every ounce of ministers' energy and attention.
"The SNP Government says it can now get the NHS working 10% harder. We need to see the details because experts have called it unrealistic. If there is a big red button somewhere why wasn't it pressed earlier because almost every waiting time target has been missed for years.
"We all need to come together to recover from the worst health crisis in 100 years. It will be important to learn from NHS staff which innovations they pioneered during the pandemic will be essential to rebuild the health service. We also need a bigger range of treatment and rehab in local hospitals and to appoint a Patients' Commissioner to stand up for patients because the waits are daunting."