FMQs: Leonard Challenges Sturgeon to tackle NHS Crisis

The Scottish Government’s record on Health under attack, as Richard Leonard reveals that more than 16,000 emergency ambulances had taken longer than an hour to arrive on the scene.

In a bruising encounter, Nicola Sturgeon was forced to admit that she ‘didn’t know’ how many patients were left waiting for an emergency ambulance, as Labour seeks to draw attention to the inadequate state of much of the Scottish NHS’s emergency care provision.

Leonard also raised the case of Margaret Goodman who had to be driven to the hospital by her husband after overstretched services were too busy to help, and waited more than 4 hours to see a doctor in A&E.

“More than 16,000 people in 2017 waited more than an hour for an emergency ambulance. People in serious need of urgent care like Margaret Goodman from Sauchie in Clackmannanshire.

“She had to wait at a packed A&E late on a Saturday night, so she wasn’t treated with morphine until three o’clock in the morning.

“The debate about our NHS is not just about statistics in the end, it is about real lives and real people like Margaret.

“Scotland’s health service staff are being failed; those district nurses, our hospital doctors and ambulance crews are being failed by the SNP government.

“The question for Nicola Sturgeon is simple - how much more failure must people endure, before she realises that we need a change in our NHS starting with a change of Health Secretary?”

Questions over Emergency Healthcare provision comes as Shona Robinson, the Scottish Government’s Health Secretary, has faced calls to resign by opposition parties and medical professionals, over fears that the NHS in Scotland is nearing breaking point.

The First Minister in turn saved most of her ire for Ruth Davidson, who found herself accused by the First Minister of “letting Westminster do what it wants” over the Tory leader’s “silence” on the Windrush scandal and Rape Clause legislation, after Davidson had attempted to portray the SNP’s opposition to the EU powers deal as causing ‘uncertainty’.

Ruth Davidson struck a notably Brexiteer stance, at odds with her historic support for a ‘Remain vote’, as well as reported preference for a ‘softer-Brexit’ than many of her Conservative peers.

Nevertheless, the tone from the Scottish Government seems to be that they will not be taking the same deal that was reached between the Welsh and UK Governments over the future devolution of powers, and will attempt to fight it in the courts instead.

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