FMQs: Sturgeon quizzed on Growth Commission and NHS figures
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The First Minister was forced to defend the growth commission report in the Scottish Parliament, while Labour went on the offensive over the SNP’s spotty record on health.
Labour have pointed to figures showing that the proportion of patients waiting longer than the SNP’s six week target for diagnostic tests for conditions such as cancer and brain tumours has increased by 171 per cent since Nicola Sturgeon became First Minister.
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “One in thirteen patients waited too long when Nicola Sturgeon became First Minister.
“Today it is one in five. That’s a 171 per cent increase in patients waiting too long.
“Patients waiting for diagnostic tests and investigations including for cancer
“That is what the people of Scotland want the First Minister to focus on.
“Not promoting another divisive referendum. Not taking to Twitter to defend the decade of cuts and austerity that would come with leaving the UK.
“There are serious problems in our National Health Service and they are growing, but the SNP is expending more energy on its Cuts Commission than cutting NHS waiting times.
“Nicola Sturgeon needs to stop putting nationalism before our National Health Service.”
The First Minister attacked the opposition “Better Together” parties for wanting to talk about independence, an odd charge days after the SNP released an economic plan they argued would “restart a debate” on the matter. Arguing that the increase in patient demand was not unique to Scotland, Sturgeon also pledged to invest a further £50m into cutting waiting times.
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