Humza Yousaf visits Fife hospital to explain £300m waiting times plan

Humza Yousaf will use a visit to a Fife hospital on Monday to set out how his £300 million cash injection will tackle long NHS waiting lists.

Mr Yousaf is heading to the national orthopaedic treatment centre in Kirkcaldy to detail how he wants the money to drive down waiting times.

The Scottish Government says the new centre has created additional capacity for around 540 joint replacement operations in its first year.

By 2025-26, the centre will create capacity for an extra 700 orthopaedic surgeries each year.

It’s hoped the latest investment will drive down health service waiting lists by 100,000 over the next three years.

The median waiting time for orthopaedic surgery in the Kingdom is around 25 weeks.

First Minister Humza Yousaf will visit the national treatment centre in Fife on Monday April 1. Image: PA

This is despite most patients in Scotland having a legal right to treatment within 12 weeks of being placed on a waiting list.

The first minister told The Courier he was committed to reducing waiting times.

Mr Yousaf said: “We are committed to accelerating treatment in our NHS and reducing waiting lists by an estimated 100,000 patients over the next three years, backed by an extra £300 million.

“This significant investment will allow us to maximise capacity, build greater resilience into the system and deliver year-on-year reductions in the number of patients who have waited too long for treatment.

“The Scottish Government will continue to work closely with NHS health boards, including NHS Fife, to ensure patients are treated as quickly as possible.”

Scottish Labour health spokesperson Jackie Baillie said the first minister was simply reciting the same old “empty promises”.

‘Same old empty promises’

She said: “When Humza Yousaf was Health Secretary, he let waiting lists spiral out of control, and this policy won’t even undo the damage he has done.

“Even if the SNP deliver on this pledge, waiting lists will be longer than when Humza Yousaf published his so-called NHS Recovery Plan.

“Any efforts to tackle the scandalous NHS waiting lists that causing suffering for thousands of Scots are welcome, but what we need is results.

“The SNP must drive down waiting lists with the urgency needed and come clean about the delivery of National Treatment Centres, which have been thrown into chaos by the SNP’s brutal cuts to NHS infrastructure budgets.”

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