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Health Secretary Neil Gray says 'I'm sorry' to 840,000 Scots stuck on NHS waiting lists

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Neil Gray has apologised to the 840,000 Scots on NHS waiting lists, telling them: “I am sorry you have had to wait too long.” Gray’s apology comes after statistics from Public Health Scotland last month showed the number of people waiting for NHS treatment or tests has increased.In an interview with the Record, he promised: “We are making investments which will see those waiting lists coming down.” Now 17 weeks into the job, Gray insists it is his mission to cut the lists, with almost one in five Scots waiting for a procedure.He said: “The investments we have made mean we have got increasing capacity and increasing numbers of procedures happening and more patient appointments than before the pandemic.” Gray also revealed he owes a massive debt of gratitude to the NHS for his recovery from a serious injury.The former 400 metres runner, who competed for Scotland, dislocated his knee during a race.

And he says he can only walk unaided now because of the care he received.He said: “My ability to walk was, I believe, saved by the intervention of surgeons when I dislocated my knee when I was in my early 20s on an athletics track.

It feels like a long time ago now.” The safe delivery of his four children, aged nine to four, and the lives of several family members beingsaved by the NHS makes the institution “very dear to my heart”, Gray added.

And he vowed: “It is an institution of which we should be rightly proud but we have to work hard to protect and I will certainly do that for as long as I am its custodian.”Gray follows successive SNP health secretaries who have failed to tackle the increasing waiting lists and delayed discharge crises.

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