SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon has announced that a re-elected SNP Government will ensure that an Ayrshire & Arran fast-track cancer diagnostic centre - the first in Scotland along with Fife and Dumfries & Galloway - will be operational by the end of May.
The First Minister also confirmed that a re-elected SNP Government will set up one of their ten elective treatment centres in Ayrshire, to help massively increase both elective and short-term hospital capacity across Scotland to help the NHS remobilise after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Urgent, emergency, maternity and vital cancer treatments have continued throughout the pandemic. Elective centres deliver planned care only, rather than the mix of emergency and planned treatment in most existing hospitals. This will significantly increase NHS capacity and reduce the chance of last minute delays as treatment will not have to be paused for emergencies.
Across Scotland, 1,500 more staff will be recruited to work in the new national elective and diagnostic treatment centres.
Ms Sturgeon also outlined some short-term measures, including the use of mobile operating theatre units, utilising under-used theatre capacity in community and general hospitals for out-patients and a significant expansion of community mental health services.
Cunninghame North SNP Candidate Kenneth Gibson commented:
“I am delighted that the SNP Government is putting Ayrshire first in the roll-out of its fast-track cancer diagnostic centres and, if re-elected, will ensure cancer patients from North Ayrshire can benefit before the end of next month. Having our own elective treatment centre in Ayrshire is also very welcome.
“As the impact of coronavirus continues to reverberate, it is reassuring to have an SNP Government ready to hit the ground running.
“Any parties carping from the sidelines about remobilisation have not been paying attention. The SNP Government started implementing its NHS remobilisation plan ‘Remobilise, Recover, Redesign’ in May 2020 – nearly a year ago - and a re-elected SNP Government will continue to implement this, with these new commitments.”
Under the SNP there has been a 90.3% increase in consultant oncologists - from 69.5 whole time equivalents (WTE) in September 2006 to 132.3 in December 2020 - and a 53.3% increase in consultant radiologists from 223.5 WTE in September 2006 to 342.6 last December.
Watch Ms Sturgeon's speech here.