More great news from the Scottish NHS:
PATIENTS from Lothian are set to be flown to foreign countries for complicated operations because local hospitals are unable to treat them on time.
NHS Lothian has said it will have to offer patients hospital places in Europe or elsewhere in Britain, if it is to comply with new Scottish Government legislation which offers a legal guarantee of treatment within 12 weeks of diagnosis.
It has emerged that between 400 and 500 patients are on course to miss the December deadline, following the introduction of the treatment time guarantee at the start of this month, which is part of the SNP’s flagship Patients Rights Act.
Some will be offered operations elsewhere in Scotland, but others will be asked to travel to England, European Union nations or Switzerland for the complex procedures before the end of the year.
NHS Lothian said that only a small proportion of the hundreds of patients are likely to be offered the operations outside Scotland, but MSPs and patients groups expressed concern at the development.
And the Scottish Government insisted it “did not envisage” patients being sent abroad, despite NHS Lothian’s admissions that some were likely to be offered the foreign operations.