Nicola Sturgeon and her government have been urged to address the public over the mounting crisis engulfing the ambulance service.
The First Minister has called in the army to alleviate the situation as the NHS in Scotland faces growing pressure.
Scottish Conservative chief whip Stephen Kerr accused the Scottish Government on Sunday of putting up a “wall of silence” over the crisis.
A number of people have endured excruciatingly long waits for an ambulance – including a 65-year-old man who died after a 40-hour wait for an ambulance.
Both Health Secretary Humza Yousaf and the Scottish Government’s national clinical director Jason Leitch declined to go on BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show to discuss the issue.
In an interview for the BBC on Sunday evening, Mr Yousaf said the government would work to increase the numbers of GPs that are able to see their patients “face to face”.
However, he did not appear to directly address the growing ambulance crisis.
The SNP politician will update the Scottish Parliament this week on the military deployment to tackle the issue.
‘Wall of silence’
Scottish Conservative chief whip, Stephen Kerr, said: “As the mistakes mount up each day, this scandalous SNP Government have put up another wall of silence.
“At a time when the NHS and Scottish Ambulance Service are at breaking point, Nicola Sturgeon and her ministers have gone into hiding in the hope things will suddenly get better.
“Scotland is in a crisis due to this inadequate SNP Government who only want to speak about one thing – independence.
“People are needlessly dying because of the SNP’s failings yet they can’t even bring themselves to address the public on what is being done to alleviate the situation.”
However, a Scottish Government spokeswoman said ministers and clinicians spoke to the media “almost every day last week”.
She added: “The government and ministers have been working around the clock and will continue doing so to keep the public informed and to support the NHS through the exceptional and unique pressures it is facing due to the global pandemic.
“The Health Secretary will set out the latest positon to parliament on Tuesday.”
Waiting time fears
New documents obtained by the Scottish Liberal Democrats using Freedom of Information reveal that ambulance waiting times will “worsen across the country”, if the status quo is maintained.
The internal Scottish Ambulance analysis estimates that by next year, only 59% of “immediately life threatening patients would be responded to within eight miles against the target of 75%”.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “The stories of excruciating and sometimes fatal waits should haunt every member of this Scottish Government.
“They are a symptom of an overrun and understaffed ambulance service, ignored for too long by a government putting priorities elsewhere.”
The Sunday Post reported the Scottish Government has been urged to use army soldiers to run field hospitals to help solve the ongoing ambulance crisis.
The delays have been blamed on queues of ambulances being forced to wait outside hospitals due to Covid restrictions inside and stretched A&E teams.
The Scottish Ambulance Service has described the situation as “extremely challenging” across the country.
A spokeswoman for the service said: “Our demand and capacity review looked at current versus predicted demand and how many staff and vehicles we’d need to meet those projections.
“Four options were submitted to the Scottish Government and we are pleased that they agreed to option 4, our preferred option.
“It is currently being actioned on a phased basis with the aim of increasing resourcing by 458 frontline staff and we have welcomed £20 million investment from the Scottish Government for the first two years of this programme.”