I was shocked to learn that in Scotland Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) (such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and lung disease) are responsible for nearly 39,000 deaths every year in Scotland. Each one of these deaths is a life lost and leaves a family grieving.
What is even more of a tragedy is that for each of these deaths their causes are preventable through addressing societal factors and educating people on how to lead healthy lives.
I believe that it is so important that we begin to imagine the NHS as more than just a purely reactive service. It must become a service that can educate all and guide people to make the best choices in life.
With a growing population and growing pressures on the NHS the justification for moving towards a more preventive and pre-emptive system is particularly important. This is because that while this move will also save lives, it would allow for finances to be better managed in the long run. The impact of NCDs estimated to cost between £5.6 and £9.3 billion every year in Scotland. Just imagine what we could do if we could do with that money to help improve the lives of everyone here in Scotland, not just in Health but in our Schools and communities.
However, at this moment in time the NHS is struggling to keep pace with demand with over 600,000 people on waiting lists here in Scotland. With news of things such as this and the truly shocking findings that in recent weeks we have seen the longest recorded ambulance wait time. This is exemplified by the fact that a man died after waiting 40 hours for an ambulance. The NHS is truly in Crisis.
This requires immediate investment in our health service if we are to truly build back better. As well recruiting more staff.
We need this to change and quickly.