Over 2,200 Scots ‘waiting two years or more for surgery’ 2023

New findings indicated that more than 2,200 Scots had waited two years or more for “life-changing” orthopaedic surgery, with 200 having waited three years.

Labour said First Minister Humza Yousaf’s health secretaryship had left “broken promises and missed targets” to improve NHS wait times.

Labour health spokesperson Jackie Baillie called it “unacceptable” for people to wait years in “excruciating pain” for procedures.

Last year, Health Secretary Michael Matheson reported 43,681 persons waiting for orthopaedic treatments including hip and knee replacements.

2,207 individuals had waited two years or more, and 225 had waited three years.

At the end of June 2022, 93 people had three-year waits, but 2,609 had two-year waits.

Labour pointed to Mr. Yousaf’s July 2022 commitment as health secretary to reduce two-year delays for inpatient and day case treatment in “most specialities” by September.

“Last year, Humza Yousaf made a promise to end long waits in orthopaedic surgery – one year on and that promise has clearly been broken,” Ms Baillie added.

Instead of fulfilling this promise, hundreds of Scots are still waiting over two years for life-changing treatment, putting them in misery and desperation.

She added: “It is unacceptable that patients are being asked to live in excruciating pain for years while awaiting treatment.

“It’s clear that Humza Yousaf spent more time as health secretary plotting for the top job than fulfilling his promise to Scots in pain.

“Humza’s legacy as health secretary: broken promises and missed targets.”

Ms. Baillie demanded that the Health Secretary “tackle this issue head on and make right the wrongs of Humza Yousaf’s tenure as health secretary.”

“We must recognize the enormous impact the pandemic has had on our health service, with the pausing of all non-emergency treatment inevitably leading to planned care delays and an increase in waiting times,” a Scottish Government spokeswoman said.

“We work closely with NHS boards to maximize capacity and reduce waiting times for appointments and treatment.

“We know there are still challenges and unacceptable waits in some specialties, including orthopaedics, but we are determined to provide the support necessary to drive improvements in these specialties.

NTC-Fife opened in March and NTC-Highland in April.

These centers will increase protected orthopaedic, ophthalmic, and diagnostic capability.

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