Responding to today's A&E figures showing just 72.4% of attendances at A&E services were seen and resulted in a subsequent admission, transfer or discharge within 4 hours in the week ending 5 December 2021, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton said:
"The Health Secretary talks as if we have turned a corner but for A&E patients and staff there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
“Staff are doing everything they can, the army is still providing support to health boards, and yet the situation remains precarious. The NHS and patients are paying the price of over a decade of SNP mismanagement, and their failures in workforce planning and retention.
"We need extra staff support and an independent inquiry into avoidable deaths connected to the emergency care crisis, after new A&E figures showed thousands more people enduring long waits."
On just 83.1% of cancer patients starting treatment within the 62-day standard, compared to 84.1% in the previous quarter and 87.3% for quarter ending 30 September 2020. he added:
"Everyone knows the importance of swift diagnosis and treatment in delivering positive outcomes for cancer care but for patients things are going from bad to worse.
"There is no evidence that the SNP are getting serious about getting NHS care back to the way it needs to be.
"Ministers should give patients a deadline for when these targets are back on track."