DCSIMG

FMQs: Alex Salmond under fire over NHS targets

Lamont and Salmond clashed at FMQs at the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood. Picture: Neil Hanna

Lamont and Salmond clashed at FMQs at the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood. Picture: Neil Hanna

  • by ANDREW WHITAKER
 

FIRST Minister Alex Salmond was accused of a “disgraceful complacency” over Scotland’s NHS by Labour leader Johann Lamont as she claimed the SNP government was failing to ensure to patients were treated within target times set by ministers.

Ms Lamont stated that the NHS was “going backwards on his watch” as she said targets to treat patients within four hours in accident and emergency departments were being missed.

The Labour leader raised the issue at First Minister’s question time at Holyrood today, highlighting what she called the “distressing reality” of the NHS under the SNP.

Lamont highlighted the case of a patient who was refused treatment despite saying she had a lump in her breast.

Ms Lamont also criticised the performance of health secretary Alex Neil, who last week narrowly survived a vote of confidence over his intervention to block changes to the NHS in his constituency.

However, Mr Salmond hit back and claimed that “waiting times were better then when Labour left office” as he said that services had improved since the SNP came to power in 2007.

Mr Salmond was also challenged to publish a breakdown of the state start-up costs of an independent Scotland after he suggested yesterday that £250 million was a “reasonable” figure.

Tory leader Ruth Davidson accused Mr Salmond of promoting “paperclip economics” after the Scottish government published analysis on the benefits of independence.

Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie suggested a Scottish government document was available that sets out the start up costs for an independent Scotland, and called on Mr Salmond to release the information.

 

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