In response to new A&E waiting time statistics for the first week of 2018, showing a 25% increase in patients waiting over 8 hours and a 73% increase in those waiting over 12 hours, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP commented:
"It is hard to imagine waiting over 12 hours in A&E but that is exactly what almost 500 patients had to do in the first week of 2018.
"Doctors have told ministers that this crisis can't be dismissed as exceptional winter pressures. The problem is additional pressures are being heaped on NHS staff who are already battling to keep on top of their workloads week in week out. That is the result of failures elsewhere in the NHS on the SNP's watch, not least social care, mental health and primary care.
“Scottish Government ministers need to recognise that we need to transform these services in the long-term, as well provide NHS staff with the support and resources they need to deliver the best care for patients in the short-term."