Labour Health Spokesperson Jackie Baillie has again refused to apologise to NHS workers in NHS Tayside after she wrongly accused them of being involved in a waiting list “scandal”.
In the debating chamber this morning, SNP MSP Joe FitzPatrick challenged her to retract her remarks – and remove the claims from her website – but she refused to back down.
Ms Baillie continues to keep comments about NHS Tayside being “dragged into the scandal” on her website despite receiving a letter from NHS Tayside chairman Sandy Watson explaining why her claims were false.
In the letter, Mr Watson said: “I would like to underline the fact that NHS Tayside is very open about waiting times activity, publishing a report every three months and discussing this in public at the Tayside NHS Board meeting.”
Mr FitzPatrick, SNP MSP for Dundee City West, said:
“It is completely disrespectful to the hard-working staff of NHS Tayside to accuse them of being embroiled in a waiting list “scandal” – when this is simply not true.
“In fact Ms Baillie continues to plaster these lies on her website after receiving a letter from NHS Tayside’s chairman pointing out where she got the figures wrong.
“This is yet another blunder from Ms Baillie who jumped to the wrong conclusions, hasn’t apologised and continues to leave her comments online.
“Instead of issuing negative and misleading remarks, Ms Baillie and the rest of the Labour Party should be praising the progress made by Scotland’s NHS workforce in their commitment to reducing waiting times.
“Up to 35,000 patients were left to languish on hidden waiting lists when Labour was in government – until the SNP abolished them.
“Our NHS staff work tirelessly and the healthcare associated infection figures published this week reflect this hard work.
“If Jackie Baillie refuses to retract her false claims and apologise, we can only assume that she thinks she has done nothing wrong.”