More than 8,000 children’s operations have been cancelled since 2019, figures have shown.
Figures uncovered through freedom of information requests show that between January 2019 and April 2023, 8,074 children’s operations were cancelled across Scotland.
Last year 1,927 operations were cancelled, including 660 in Glasgow alone.
There were 621 operations cancelled in the first three months of 2023, suggesting that the number of cancellations will rise this year.
The figures were gathered by the Scottish Liberal Democrats.
Party leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “The shocking scale of cancelled children’s operations is a badge of shame for this nationalist government. Behind these figures are countless children and parents having to wait in pain and distress.
“Some of these operations will have been cancelled for good reasons but many more will be because the staff and equipment to perform them simply isn’t there.
“Years of neglect by this government have led to chronic staff shortages with communities across the country paying the price. How can Humza Yousaf look parents and patients in the eye?
“Humza Yousaf’s NHS recovery plan has completely failed. We need a new plan which puts the experience and knowledge of NHS staff at the heart of it to bring local health services back from the brink.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The significant impact of COVID-19 since 2019 on the normal operation of the NHS cannot be underestimated. Some operations are cancelled for clinical reasons or because the patient cannot attend, and we have made it clear to boards that patients with the greatest clinical need, should not have their operations cancelled. Where cancellations do take place, the large majority are routine procedures, although we recognise the impact this has on the patient involved.
“We continue to work closely with health boards to ensure patients that have had their operations cancelled are seen as quickly as possible.”