Magazine article Public Finance

Scots with Heart Disease Treated Quickly, Others Are Still Waiting

Magazine article Public Finance

Scots with Heart Disease Treated Quickly, Others Are Still Waiting

Article excerpt

Scottish patients have the UK's shortest waiting times for the diagnosis and treatment of coronary heart disease, according to the latest government statistics.

However, the overall figures produced by the Scottish Executive's information statistics division show that a record number of Scots are waiting for NHS treatment.

At the end of last year, 113,612 people were waiting for inpatient and day-case treatment - an increase of 1,590 on 2003.

The figures sparked a political row. The Scottish National Party accused the Executive of failing to deliver on waiting list pledges and the Tories claimed that lists had gone up by 23,550, or 26%, since 1999, while those in England had fallen by 20%.

Health Minister Andy Kerr dismissed the criticisms as 'meaningless'. He stressed that the Executive could have brought waiting times down by concentrating on treating people who had shorter waits at the expense of those who had been waiting longer. …

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