Anas Sarwar has criticised the Scottish Government’s record on the NHS after 43,000 patients paid for private care in the last financial year – up eight per cent on the previous year.

The Scottish Labour leader said patients in Scotland were “paying the price for SNP incompetence” after spending months on NHS waiting lists.

But First Minister Humza Yousaf insisted action was being taken on waiting times, highlighting that two-year waits were down by 59 per cent and 18-month waits were down by 14.6 per cent.

Over 17,000 patients have waited more than 18 months for treatment, according to recent figures. As health secretary Yousaf pledged to alleviate long waits by this month.

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