Minister asked to 'apologise' over NHS waiting times

North East region MSP Peter Chapman has challenged Shona Robison on waiting times at NHS Grampian.
North East region MSP Peter Chapman has challenged Shona Robison on waiting times at NHS Grampian.

The SNP health minister has been asked to “apologise” to people in the North East due to lengthy waiting times for hospital treatment.

North East region MSP Peter Chapman challenged Shona Robison on whether it was “unacceptable” for more than 18,000 people to wait longer than 18 weeks for treatment.

Scottish Conservative Mr Chapman said: “For the past nine months, NHS Grampian has had the worst waiting times in Scotland.

“In that time, over 18,000 people have waited over 18 weeks for treatment.

“Core revenue expenditure for NHS Grampian is the second lowest in Scotland, with a spend per head of only £1,671.

“Does the Cabinet Secretary admit this is unacceptable, and will she apologise to the people of Grampian?”

NHS Grampian, which is funded by the SNP Government to provide public health services across the region, was given £867.2m to spend on services between the start of April and the end of this month.

That is £27.7m less than the year before.

And information provided by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre suggests that NHS Grampian has been underfunded by £165.6 million since 2008.

After the portfolio question was taken at Holyrood, Mr Chapman said: “The quicker a patient can begin treatment, the better their chance at recovery.

“But performance under this SNP government is getting worse and worse.”