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Davidson: Sturgeon sweeping NHS problems 'under carpet'

The Scottish Tory leader criticised the SNP's record on health at First Minister's Questions.

Report: Nicola Sturgeon and Ruth Davidson clashed over the health service's performance.
Report: Nicola Sturgeon and Ruth Davidson clashed over the health service's performance. PA

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has accused the First Minister of trying to "sweep under the carpet" NHS Scotland's problems.

Nicola Sturgeon faced a number of questions on the health service at Holyrood on Thursday after an Audit Scotland report into the health service flagged up "significant concerns" over a number of areas including longer waiting times.

The auditors also raised concerns about the recruitment of new GPs and the "low morale" of those already working in the industry.

Sturgeon told MSPs at First Minister's Questions that the NHS in Scotland is performing better than in any other part of the UK.

https://stv.tv/news/scotland/1400784-scotland-s-health-is-not-improving-warns-watchdog/ | default

She said: "In meeting these challenges in Scotland, and they are big challenges, I think against many measures we are seeing the NHS in Scotland perform better than the NHS in any other part of the UK.

"That's because of the actions we're taking: Increased investment in the NHS, reform, integration of health and social care for example, the focus on realistic medicine and the work we've done on A&E and are now doing in elective care more generally.

"So this is tough stuff, nobody denies that but we will continue to focus on delivering the investment and reform that the NHS needs and that patients across the country deserve."

Davidson said the First Minister was trying to "sweep under the carpet" NHS problems and her government had failed to tackle a shortage in staff.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1372349-brexit-uncertainty-hitting-nhs-scotland-staffing-levels/ | default

Davidson said: "Today we've had a report from the nation's auditor saying that health in Scotland is not improving and that huge inequalities remain, that there's been a 99% rise in the number of outpatients waiting more than 12 weeks in the last year alone.

"The SNP set their own targets to make things better but they've improved in only one in the last five years.

"We know there's no long-term plan even though one was promised for the start of this year, that GPs are being underfunded and that we spent £171m hiring in agency staff to plug the gaps."

Scottish Labour interim leader Alex Rowley said the Scottish Government is "not doing enough and is not moving fast enough" to solve problems highlighted in the report

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1400797-number-of-pensioners-will-rise-by-25-over-25-years/ | default

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