Cancer patients who have been lost to care by NHS Scotland have turned to private healthcare for life-saving procedures.
Waiting lists in Scotland have led to 1,700 patients needing chemotherapy on their way to clinics in England, which has been described as a shameful result of the SNP’s care management and a “disgusting” position for vulnerable people. those who feel compelled to opt for the private route to surgery are spending up to £27,000 or risking dying while waiting for treatment.
Humza Yousaf has been accused of fueling the crisis by not providing the NHS with the staff and resources necessary for post-Covid recovery . After his time as health secretary, during which he developed a plan to deal with the SNP crisis, he was told that this was “clearly not working.”
A patient gives a devastating warning to the Prime Minister, telling him: “Cancer is not waiting for the NHS.”
Scottish Conservative health spokesman Dr Sandesh Gulhane highlighted: “Humza Yousaf’s fragile recovery plan and the appalling staffing by successive SNP health secretaries.”
He added: “Cancer is a devastating diagnosis for any patient and should never have got to the point where brave people had to fund their own treatment.”
Dr Sorcha Hume, Cancer Research UK’s public relations manager in Scotland, said: “It is unacceptable that people in Scotland are still waiting too long. NHS staff work hard, but years of chronic shortages of manpower and specialist equipment mean patients are not getting the care and treatment they desperately need.”
She added it was “crucial” that the Scottish government’s new cancer strategy was “fully funded and implemented” to address these issues and transform cancer services for the future.”
Margaret McCaul, who was diagnosed with highly advanced ovarian cancer in August last year, was forced to raid a savings account for an operation that cost £27,000. The main procedure removed her ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus and other affected organs. If untreated, the condition would have been fatal, but there was a three-month waiting period on the NHS.
She called it “disgusting” that she and others like her had to resort to such measures just to stay alive. She told the Scottish Daily Mail: “Cancer doesn’t expect the NHS to act together on waiting lists. Cancer doesn’t care if you can afford it.