The first minister will today outline the steps her government is taking to tackle an NHS crisis as medics warn safety is at risk and patients are dying.
Nicola Sturgeon will be joined by Health Secretary Humza Yousaf and Deputy Chief Medical Officer Graham Ellis to address mounting pressure and concern about the health service over winter.
On Sunday, Mr Yousaf accepted patient care is often not at a level he would want himself or his family to receive.
But the SNP minister defended the Scottish Government’s winter planning, which he said started “as soon as last winter was over”.
His remarks come after stark warnings from clinicians.
Lailah Peel, deputy chair of the British Medical Association in Scotland, warned patient safety is “at risk every single day” in A&E departments across the country.
The junior doctor said patients are “absolutely” dying as a result of pressure on the NHS.
She said: “There is no shadow of a doubt that is happening.
“Every healthcare worker in Scotland right now will be able to tell you a story about a patient that has suffered because of the crisis at the moment.”
This is an unprecedented crisis. I don’t use that word lightly at all.
– Humza Yousaf
On Sunday, Mr Yousaf rejected calls for the Army to be drafted in to boost capacity at Scottish hospitals.
He said the “vast majority of army nurses and doctors are working in wards right now”, adding there is not a “magic pool of nurses and doctors”.
The SNP minister said: “This is an unprecedented crisis. I don’t use that word lightly at all.
“It’s something that all governments are facing, not just on these islands but many in Europe and right across the world.”
Private healthcare row
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has come under fire for repeatedly refusing to say whether he uses private healthcare as people across the UK struggle with long waiting times to see GPs and receive treatment on the NHS.
The prime minister insisted on Sunday his own healthcare is “not really relevant” as he declined to set out whether he relies on the public health system.
“Why won’t you tell us whether or not you use private healthcare?” asks #BBCLauraK
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) January 8, 2023
He told BBC One’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme: “As a general policy, I wouldn’t ever talk about me or my family’s healthcare situation.
“But it’s not really relevant, what’s relevant is the difference I can make to the country.”
He said healthcare is a “personal choice”, adding that discussing his own situation is “a distraction from what the real issue is, and the real issue is are we making sure there’s high-quality healthcare for the country”.
“But when it comes to the private sector in general, we should be making use of the independent sector. I don’t have any problem with that whatsoever,” he added.
How to watch Nicola Sturgeon’s briefing
A live stream of the event will be available via the Scottish Government Twitter feed – @ScotGov – from 11am.
The first minister, joined by Mr Yousaf and the chief medical officer, will also take questions from journalists.
We will bring you all the latest developments across our news sites, including via a liveblog.