In light of ongoing and seemingly ceaseless Tory criticism of the NHS in Scotland and here in Ayrshire by Tory MSPs silent about the chaos presided over by their colleagues down south, described by the British Red Cross this year as a “humanitarian crisis,” Kenneth Gibson MSP believes it is important to reflect on the progress that NHS Scotland has made in recent years:
NHS Scotland employs 138,931 people, a 6% increase on 2012
There are 59,377 nurses and midwives, also up 6%
Hospitals recorded 1.2 million procedures in 2012. Last year it was 1.47 million, an increase of more than a quarter of a million in just five years
Ten years ago 1,316,205 people were admitted to hospital. Last year it was 1,622,547 up by 300,000 in a decade
In 2007 there were 508,361 emergency admissions. Last year it was 579,297
The number of heart patients has gone up from 44,000 to 68,000 in a decade
Over the same ten years, diabetes admissions trebled from 1,100 to 3,300
There are currently 1,300 patients affected by "bed blocking," still too many but half of what it was in September 2009
Commenting, Kenneth said:
“NHS Scotland is now dealing with more complex and varied challenges than ever before and is now far better equipped to face these than it was in the past.
“More patients are being seen by more staff and mortality and morbidity continues to decline. For example, hospital acquired infections are down 83% under the SNP as hospitals are now cleaner than ever before and patients are seen more quickly.
“New hospitals such as the £842 million Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow and the £46 million Woodland View mental health hospital in Irvine show the level of capital investment.
“NHS workers, from managers to clinicians to porters and cleaners, have all played their part in this progress and continue to do so.
“This progress has been delivered against a backdrop of Tory austerity, which has cut Scotland’s budget by 9% in a decade. Nevertheless, the SNP Government continues to protect and grow NHS budgets, which will increase by over £2,000 million during the course of this 2016-2021 Scottish Parliament.
“Tory List MSPs might not have much to do with their time but continually sniping at the NHS rather than supporting it will earn them only the contempt of NHS staff and the patients who benefit from their hard work.”