The Scottish Labour Party used a Glenrothes health centre as the venue to launch their pledge to deliver “the most transparent health service in the world”.
Jenny Marra MSP, the party’s health spokesman, joined Melanie Ward, Glenrothes parliamentary candidate, on a visit to Glenwood Health Centre on Tuesday pledging to establish regular reporting of operations if they achieve government as well as weekly reporting of accident and emergency statistics.
Labour has criticised what it calls a culture of secrecy around the NHS in Scotland.
Jenny Marra told the Gazette: “In Scotland today our NHS is suffering in silence. Cancelled operations are not reported, our weekly A&E health check is not shared and expert organisations like the BMA feel forced to use freedom of information laws to understand the conditions of our NHS. It simply isn’t good enough.”
“Under Scottish Labour we will have the most transparent health service in the world.
“We will commit to weekly reporting about A&E statistics and the regular reporting of operations.
“The NHS is Labour’s greatest achievement and it is time it gets the care it deserves.”
The visit followed Ms Ward’s call for more to be done to reduce accident and emergency department waiting times following the party’s claim that that an estimated 1072 people from the Glenrothes, Levenmouth and Central Fife area waited more than four hours in A&E in 2014.
“It’s time for action, not excuses from the Scottish Government and NHS Fife.
“Week in, week out I speak to local people waiting too long for treatment and local NHS staff unable to give the care they want to because of short-staffing in Fife.”
Labour pair criticised on Twitter for ‘old health centre’ photograph
The visit drew controversy with SNP supporters criticising Ms Ward for tweeting a photo posing alongside Jenny Marra with the closed old health centre in the background while campaigning against NHS understaffing.
Peter Grant SNP’s PPC for Glenrothes and central Fife said: “This is a deeply embarrassing blunder from Melanie Ward and Jenny Marra, which shows Labour are more interested in playing political games than they are in our local NHS.”
Ms Ward later dismissed the comments, tweeting: “Amused by SNP trolls excited by pic of me & @JennyMarra next to Glenwood Health Centre sign; it’s the only sign outside the new health centre...”.