New analysis carried out by Edinburgh Western MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton and the Scottish Liberal Democrats shows that over 150,000 scheduled operations have been lost to the pandemic between March and December 2020.
Figures published by Public Health Scotland today reveal that in 2019, 280,787 were conducted between March and December. But in 2020, this figure was just 129,611.
Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP commented:
"These statistics show the terrible reality we live in. Despite the best efforts of our NHS heroes, COVID-19 unfortunately has prevented many procedures from being carried out. People are in pain, friends and families feel powerless, while the NHS backlog continues to grow and more people end up in the same situation.
“The difference in operations taking place in 2019 and 2020 can be linked to the pandemic, and the unprecedented burden on the NHS, which was ill-equipped for it. However, a pandemic does not ease the pain of the loss of a loved one. I would like to extend my condolences to all those who lost their loved ones, and to thank our NHS for all their continued efforts during the past year.
“The SNP does not seem to understand that right now we need a needle-sharp focus on recovery and a solid plan to strengthen the capacities of our NHS. The people of Scotland need a robust and effective NHS recovery plan, one that will focus on catching up on lost operations and guarantee people the care they need."