The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)

Doctors concerned by ‘unrealisti­c’ promises


Politician­s may be “raising unrealisti­c public expectatio­ns” about the amount of work the NHS in Scotland can do after the coronaviru­s pandemic, leading doctors have warned.

While the future of the health service is a key battlegrou­nd in the run-up to next month’s Holyrood election, doctors said they had a “real concern” about some of the promises parties are making.

Dr Lewis Morrison, the chairman of the British Medical Associatio­n (BMA) Scotland spoke out along with Dr Miles Mack, the chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties in Scotland, also known as the Scottish Academy.

Noting that many health workers were “suffering the physical and mental impact” of working throughout the pandemic, they also called for an increased in staffing.

Their comments come as the Scottish Conservati­ves promised a one-off £600 million boost to help the NHS tackle the “treatment log-jam” that has built up during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, if the SNP is re-elected, its leader Nicola Sturgeon has promised work to raise NHS in-patient, day-case and out-patient activity to 10% above pre-pandemic levels within one year.

But in a joint statement Dr Morrison and Dr Mack said: “There is real concern that political parties are raising unrealisti­c public expectatio­ns of the potential activity of NHS in Scotland in the run-up to the Holyrood election, without establishi­ng how to create the capacity to deliver on these promises, especially in the timescales being talked about.”

The medical experts said they both fully supported “the need to urgently address the healthcare needs of patients whose assessment, investigat­ion or treatment may have been paused or delayed as a result of the pandemic”, insisting the health service would be “continuing to do our very best to do this”.

But they added: “This needs to be supported by an increase in capacity and workforce.

“And we cannot ignore the health and wellbeing of NHS staff who are already under severe pressure due to Covid-19 and suffering the physical and mental impact that this has had.

“In the final weeks of campaignin­g and when the new Scottish Government is formed, communicat­ion with the public must be realistic, and the delivery of services must be balanced with our current capacity and developed in associatio­n with NHS Scotland, the BMA, the Scottish Academy and Royal Colleges and other organisati­ons in a position to advise on what is achievable.”

 ??  ?? The future of the health service is a key battlegrou­nd in the run-up to the election.
The future of the health service is a key battlegrou­nd in the run-up to the election.

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