Almost 780,000 Scots found themselves on an NHS waiting list for an appointment, treatment, or test, new figures show.
Statistics published on Tuesday by Public Health Scotland show a rise in the number of people waiting, from 772,887 on December 31 to 779,533 as of March 31. Some 479,725 people were waiting for an outpatient appointment on March 31, an increase of 0.5% (2,617) from December 31 and 14.5% higher than the same date last year.
Since March 2020 – the beginning of lockdowns in response to the pandemic in the UK – the waiting list has grown by 87%. A Scottish Government target aims to ensure 95% of patients are seen within 12 weeks. Of those waits, 31,498 people had been waiting longer than 1 year for their procedure, the figures show.
Humza Yousaf, Scotland's First Minister said: "There’s going to be a long way to go. The recovery plan is purposely a 5-year recovery plan because we know that recovery from the pandemic—which was the biggest shock the NHS faced for almost 75 years—is going to take us not weeks or months, but years to recover from."
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Source: Medscape, 31 May 2023