South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has renewed his calls for action to help our local NHS, as health and care services struggle as the pandemic continues.
On Thursday, NHS Borders was forced to cancel routine operations for the rest of the week due to the “significant pressures” created by Covid-19.
The health board said that due to very high demand on services, it had “put a number of measures in place to alleviate some of the pressure”.
NHS Borders has paused all routine operations scheduled last week and said it is “likely that we will need to continue to pause routine operating and a decision on this will be made as quickly as possible”. The board is also reducing the number of routine outpatient appointments during this period to focus staff on emergency, urgent and cancer services.
The board has also moved to “essential visiting” at its hospitals for at least 14 days.
Colin Smyth said: “Nearly two years into the pandemic, this latest wave of the virus has brought our fantastic NHS to its knees.
“Even before Covid, our amazing health service staff were dealing with huge waiting lists but the pandemic has exacerbated that problem and put many clinics, operations and treatments on hold for months.
“As a result, the NHS is being forced to play catch up and we are seeing on a weekly basis that some NHS boards are being forced to cancel routine operations and clinics.
“I fear that it will take years for the NHS to be able to get back to the waiting time levels we saw before Covid.
“The Scottish Government was too slow in implementing a recovery plan for the NHS and putting in place the resources help our struggling health boards. The time for words is long over, we need action.”