New figures have revealed that thousands of people in the south of Scotland were stuck on a waiting list as of 30 September 2021.
Of these, a shocking number were waiting more than 13 weeks.
The quarterly release by Public Health Scotland relates to the number of patients waiting for one of eight key diagnostic tests at 30 September 2022 and the time they have waited. The eight key diagnostic tests are upper endoscopy, lower endoscopy (excl. colonoscopy), colonoscopy, cystoscopy, CT scan, MRI scan, barium studies and non-obstetric ultrasound.
NHS Dumfries and Galloway had the best figures in south Scotland with 2,721 waiting but with 86.9 per cent seen in six weeks or less. In NHS Lanarkshire, 23,647 were on the list, with just 37.4 per cent seen in six weeks or less and a shocking 10,257 waiting more than 13 weeks.
Colin Smyth said: “These figures are nothing short of a disaster for our area, exposing once again what an abject failure the SNP Government’s is when it comes to our NHS.
“Health and care staff across the south of Scotland are working tirelessly to deliver the best possible standard of care, but they simply cannot keep up as there just aren’t enough of them.
“Thousands of people are waiting weeks for basic healthcare and that really undermines the fundamental principles of our NHS.
“Services across my constituency are stretched to breaking point and it can’t continue.
“While Covid exacerbated the challenges facing our NHS, many of the problems causing these waiting lists were there long before the pandemic such as a shortage of nurses, carers and other key health workers.”