South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has revealed that a third of patients have waited longer than 6 weeks for key diagnostic tests across Ayrshire and Arran.

The latest figures published by the Scottish Government’s Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland show that in the first 6 months of this year 15,840 patients waited more than 6 weeks for a key endoscopy or radiology diagnostic test. This meant 33.7% of all patients referred waited longer than 6 weeks.

In 2009, the Scottish Government reduced the target waiting time to 6 weeks for referred patients to receive a key diagnostic test, but are so far failing to reach the targets.

Colin Smyth said, “It is deeply worrying to heart that hundreds of patients locally are having to wait way beyond what is supposed to be a legally binding waiting time of six weeks. It’s clear that the SNP waiting times law isn’t worth the paper it is written on. Every time that law is broken, it can leave a patient in pain or distress as they wait to get treatment they need and that is just not acceptable. Diagnostic tests such as a colonoscopy or MRI scan in most cases lead to a diagnosis for patients to make sure the correct treatment is put in place as quickly as possible. The Scottish Government have rightly set a waiting time standard for key diagnostic tests but they are failing to properly resource our local NHS to allow our doctors and nurses to meet those targets.”

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