The former chief executive of NHS Scotland has said the health service needs “radical surgery” in order to meet current and future challenges.
Paul Gray, who was the top civil servant for healthcare in Scotland between 2013 and 2018, said the NHS was always going to be overwhelmed and the coronavirus pandemic precipitated the situation.
In a blog post for the think tank Reform Scotland, he said a combination of demographic changes, funding and the availability of skills were all putting pressure on the NHS before the pandemic.
He said Scotland should learn from healthcare systems abroad which have less central control, such as those in the Netherlands, Sweden and Alaska
Mr Gray said: “This is not 2019 and it is certainly not 1948.
“Previous models of care are increasingly lost in the mists of time and demographics and public expectation, and the more quickly we grasp that, the sooner we will deliver the reforms that are needed.
“The people currently delivering health and care services have responded brilliantly to the current challenges – we need to hear their voices and the voices of citizens in relation to the reforms that are needed as well.