PATIENTS IN MORAY requiring eye treatment have to wait longer for appointments than any other part of Scotland.
That situation is being described as “shocking” by local MP Douglas Ross, who is demanding fair treatment for his constituents.
Patients in Moray and throughout the North East will wait up to 18 months to have essential cataract treatment – with NHS Grampian the worst performing local authority in the country with a maximum waiting time of 546 days.
Moray’s MP said: “Once again it seems that the Central Belt is better served, with the waiting list for ophthalmology appointments in NHS Lothian just 81 days – and patients in Glasgow are seen within 210 days.
“I have raised this with NHS Grampian since I was elected to the Scottish Parliament and continued this as Moray’s MP. I am now seeking an urgent meeting to resolve this issue. The Scottish Government has set a target of 12 weeks for eye appointments, yet people in Moray are facing a much longer wait.
“Many cataract patients are elderly and their sight is extremely important. The outrageous time they are stuck on the NHS Grampian waiting list could limit their ability to get out and about, which is clearly unacceptable.
“This follows the revelation that health spending in the North East is among the lowest in Scotland at just £1671 per head.”
Mr Ross added that figure was the second lowest of all health boards in Scotland – putting the region well below many of the health boards in the central belt.
He continued: “The figures are extraordinary. In Moray, we have a greater number of older people in a rural area who need more funding, not less.
“This is having a direct effect on local people who are finding that Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin is not always able to meet their needs due to lack of investment and they face lengthy journeys to Aberdeen for treatment or consultations.
“It is simply too far for people who are ill to have to travel to Aberdeen, especially if they have to rely on public transport. We are seeing time and time again that the relentless centralisation of the SNP Government in Holyrood is costing Moray and the North-east of Scotland dear.
“It is time that Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP woke up and realised that people in Moray deserve as much funding as those in the Central Belt.”