AMBULANCES. What are they like? You wait all day for one, after which none flip up without delay.
No less than, that was Douglas Ross’s pitch at FMQs, the place he described agonised sufferers ready yonks for a experience, after which ages caught outdoors overflowing A&E items.
Certainly, such is the state of Scotland’s emergency caravan service, the typical time between making a tremulous 999 name to trundling into hospital has now risen from one hour to 6.
Did Nicola Sturgeon not discover that “stunning and unacceptable”?
The First Minister agreed it wasn’t braw, however pressures on the NHS had been “in some respects exacerbated by the pandemic”.
And relaxation assured, Scotland’s unluckiest man, Well being Secretary Humza Yousaf, had talked to the chief govt of the ambulance service that very morning (after the Each day File reported the stats).
The Scottish Tory chief upped the stakes. The ambulance service had lengthy been “in disaster”, sure?
The FM upped them again. These pressures on the NHS had really been “considerably exacerbated by Covid”, she remembered.
And remember the Scottish Ambulance Service serves “a few of the most rural areas” within the UK.
Mr Ross riposted with some case research. Just like the suspected stroke sufferer who took 14 hours to get to hospital after falling sick in far-flung, rural Bearsden.
Or Jim from Pitlochry whose son collapsed and gave up ready for an ambulance after his lips turned blue and drove him to hospital.
“I have no idea whether or not Jim is watching, however he is perhaps, so I’ll deal with him straight,” mentioned the FM, her discomfited backbenchers as silent as an NHS24 helpline.
“First, I’m extraordinarily sorry that the wait that you simply had occurred, and I don’t suppose that that’s acceptable. I’m attempting to handle the problems genuinely.”
Oh, and by the way in which, NHS points “have been considerably deepened and exacerbated by a once-in-a-century world pandemic”.
I do fear about how ministers will cope when the pandemic ends and the Covid tide lastly goes out, exposing their achievements to the weather. It is such an incredible consolation.
Subsequent up, Anas Sarwar picked holes in Ms Sturgeon’s detail-lite vaccine passports plan.
“A bit of extra grown-up politics on this subject would go a good distance,” the First Patroniser sniffed.
The Scottish Labour chief waggled the skimpy blueprint.
“There are companies impacted by vaccine certification which have longer cocktail menus,” he mentioned.
Ms Sturgeon was not amused.
“Intelligent quips may sound good in a pupil union, however once we try to take care of a world pandemic, it’s extra essential that now we have the options that assist to maintain folks secure,” she growled.
Mr Sarwar rolled his eyes. Instructed off for being too intelligent, certainly.
If there had been an ambulance lower than an eternity away he may need break up his sides laughing.
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