Rutherglen Liberal Democrat candidate Sheila Thomson said
"The pandemic has torn through our lives. Thousands of people died or suffered serious illness. People waited longer for hospital treatment. Individuals suffered isolation. And when we look back on the pandemic I believe there will be no greater tragedy than that of our care homes.
Frontline staff are working around the clock but there simply aren't enough of them. The last year has been especially tough, but the NHS was understaffed and lacked the resources to meet waiting times for years before the pandemic struck. In mental health there are the same number of psychiatrists in specialist training to work with young people as there were five years ago. No wonder people still have to wait an age for treatment.
We need to put recovery first for our NHS and social care services. We have to act now to build our health services back up. We are behind on diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening illness.
We will listen to the professionals and patient groups to plan the long term recovery of the NHS.
Scottish Liberal Democrats have set out our plans to: ramp up cancer testing capacity to meet the need, train more mental health specialists for community settings, create more walk-in services at A&E and new crisis centres, and so much more.
I believe, we all need to come together to recover from the worst health crisis of 100 years. Staff are exhausted, patients are in long queues for operations, and children are waiting over a year for mental health treatment. They can’t wait for a referendum to come and go, or for a return to the arguments of the past.
Our plan is urgent. Instead of distraction, we need a government that has a needle-sharp focus. Scottish Liberal Democrats will put recovery first."