Scotland’s NHS is critically ill

Monday, February 9th, 2015 @ 10:24AM

Kezia drops some truths about the state of Scotland’s NHS in her Daily Record column this week:

If you want to take the pulse of Scotland’s NHS, listen to the beat of our Accident and Emergency Departments.

They’re racing, staff are under severe pressure and starved of the resource they need. A full on cardiac arrest is just around the corner.

With patients being treated in Portakabins, facebook appeals for volunteers, and operations cancelled left right and centre, we know the NHS is far from peak condition just by hearing those stories.

The SNP Government are quick dismiss those examples though and say that’s just newspaper trouble making, I’d call it proper journalism but that’s not the first time we’ve disagreed.

Put that to one side though, what do the cold hard facts tell us about the state of the NHS. If you had a chart at the end of it’s bed, what would the vitals be?

Problem is we don’t know because the SNP Government wont tell us. The President of the British Medical Association said as much this week when he revealed that his distinguished organization have to use FOI requests to get the information they want about staffing levels.

There’s a secretive culture being imposed on the NHS by an SNP Government where bad news, difficult numbers and uncomfortable truths are shoved in drawers. It’s not healthy and it has to stop.

When Nicola Sturgeon became First Minister, she promised us she’d be the most accessible First Minister ever. I took that to mean she’d run an open and transparent government, not that she’d do a facebook Q and A every Thursday afternoon.

For many years, she was Scotland’s Health Secretary before she gave up running the NHS to run the referendum. Now it’s Shona Robison at the helm but there’s a growing sense that Nicola Sturgeon is still walking around with a Stethoscope in her back pocket. She’d do well to take her fingers out her ears and use that instead.

Lets start with the pulse of the NHS. Why doesn’t the Government report on the health of our Accident and Emergency departments. We know the Government get weekly reports, why can’t we see them?

The NHS isn’t any old faceless Government department. It’s part of our identity, in our blood. It’s at the certain of our lives great moments of joy and sadness, distress and relief. It’s an emotional connection which means when it’s in pain we feel it.

Once we know its vitals we can fight for the best medicine like Labour’s £100 frontline fund.

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