Scotland’s health service is “becoming unsustainable” in its current form, the chair of the British Medical Association north of the border has warned.
In his Christmas message, Dr Peter Bennie said that politicians risk losing sight of the serious challenges facing the NHS.
He added that services are “struggling to cope” and referenced “major problems with recruitment and retention across the health and social care sectors”.
Dr Bennie said: “Much of the focus this year has been on constitutional issues surrounding the UK’s exit from the European Union. BMA Scotland will continue to raise the potential severe consequences for universities and the NHS in Scotland.
“But we must also ensure that the overall condition of the NHS does not slip down the list of priorities.
“Report after report on the state of the NHS in Scotland have set out the increasing scale of the challenges the health services faces.
“Audit Scotland reiterated what BMA Scotland have been saying for some considerable time. The NHS in Scotland is struggling to cope.
“But despite the body of evidence to show that urgent action is needed now, the much needed plans for action have been allowed to slip.”
He added: “As Scotland’s population profile gets older and has increasing health needs, the speed with which increasing demand is outstripping available resources is rapidly growing.
“Without sufficient resources, providing healthcare in the same way as we do now is becoming unsustainable.”