Scotland's Health Secretary Neil Gray has called for significant reforms and improvements within NHS Scotland, emphasizing the need to reduce patient waiting times.
Following his recent appointment as Michael Matheson's successor, Gray highlighted the public's dissatisfaction with current waiting periods which often push patients toward private healthcare. Opposition MSPs criticized the SNP for overseeing a decline in the health service's quality.
Gray plans to present his reform strategy to the cabinet soon, seeking input from officials, staff, and unions. He recognizes the NHS's ongoing recovery from the pandemic and associated challenges stemming from Brexit and inflation.
Gray aims to reduce both out-patient and in-patient waiting times and wants to maintain free healthcare access for all in Scotland despite budget constraints.
Criticism comes from Scottish Labour's Dame Jackie Baillie, citing a large portion of the population on waiting lists, and Scottish Conservative Tess White, who argues for immediate action to improve the health service.
The previous Health Secretary, Michael Matheson, resigned amid controversy over a large personal data roaming bill on his work iPad, which he subsequently repaid.
His departure, along with other recent reshuffles in the health sector, has sparked debate over the Scottish government's handling of health ministry leadership changes.