Responding to the NHSScotland Chief Executive’s Annual Report 2015/16, Peter Bennie chair of BMA Scotland said:
"Whilst it is pleasing to see many of the positive achievements of NHSScotland highlighted the report also recognises the significant challenges facing the health service in Scotland today.
“BMA Scotland has been warning for some considerable time that the financial pressures on the health service coupled with rising demand and difficulties recruiting and retaining staff mean that our health and social care system is under extreme pressure.
"In order to ensure that we can deliver sustainable healthcare for the future politicians must address the urgent need to close the growing gap between constrained resources and rising pressures on services and the medical workforce faced by the NHS in Scotland.
"The challenges around recruiting and retaining doctors further adds to this burden with doctors warning of unsustainable workloads and unfilled positions adding to the pressures of working in the health service. Action is needed now to address these vacancies which are a feature of consultant, GP, trainee and specialist posts.
"Each vacant post further increases the burden on existing medical staff and often has significant financial implications for NHS Boards trying to fill these gaps.
"The report also highlights that significant reforms are necessary to transform care and deliver improved outcomes for patients.
"That includes delivering a clear plan for the implementation of the 2020 Vision and National Clinical Strategy, the review of national targets to improve outcomes for patients and an effective workforce strategy.
“We would also call on politicians to have an honest conversation with the public on how they access and use services and the need for change to protect and enhance the delivery of our health services for the future."