Nicola Sturgeon has been facing increasing pressure after a new report published earlier this week showed patients in Scotland have been waiting for an average of six hours before being transported to the hospital. The Scottish First Minister on Thursday announced her Government would seek the support of the British Army to help ambulance crew respond to calls faster. The decision had GB News commentator Calvin Robinson question the SNP’s desires for independence in light of the party’s failure to address the issue independently.
GB News co-panellist Leo Kearse chipped in, saying: “Or China, apparently.
“The SNP were talking about allowing Chinese military bases in Scotland and negotiating, as a leaver, to get more money from Westminster post-independence.”
Announcing her decision to seek support from the British Army, Ms Sturgeon told MSPs in Holyrood: “I’ll be going back to my office to finalise the detail of the request for military assistance so we can submit that as quickly as possible.”
“Such military assistance is already being provided to ambulance services in England and of course we have had military assistance for other aspects of the pandemic over the past 18 months.”
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A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence said the department is “working hard to identify where we can most effectively assist other government departments and civil authorities.”
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf, who said on Wednesday that people should “think twice” before calling for an ambulance, will make a statement to parliament next week, setting out measures being taken by the Scottish Government to ease the crisis.
The Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross criticised Mr Yousaf’s comments, calling them “dangerous and reckless”, and urged the First Minister to apologise on Mr Yousaf’s behalf – which she did not.
Instead, the First Minister said people should “never hesitate in calling an ambulance if that is the intervention they think is required”.
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Mr Ross said: “This shouldn’t be happening in Scotland in 2021.”
He added: “Last week, the First Minister wouldn’t accept the ambulance service is in crisis, surely the last seven days will have changed her mind?”
Ms Sturgeon refused to say there was a crisis, instead saying: “I don’t challenge the extent of the pressure that’s on our ambulance service and indeed on all parts of our national health service.
“It is incumbent on me as First Minister, with all of my colleagues across government, as it faces up to these challenges.”
Pressure because of coronavirus, the First Minister said, was driving the problems being seen in the sector.