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Action needed to replace old medical scanners, Labour claims

An independent report for the NHS in England recommended scanners more than a decade old should be replaced (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)
An independent report for the NHS in England recommended scanners more than a decade old should be replaced (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

Action should be taken to replace old medical scanners in Scottish hospitals, Labour has said, after finding devices more than 10 years old are still in use.

Freedom-of-information requests showed six health boards have MRI or CT scanners more than a decade old.

At NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 10 of its 16 MRI scanners are more than 10 years old, as are seven of its 20 CT scanners.

In 2020, an independent report for the NHS in England recommended scanners more than a decade old should be replaced.

Scottish Labour health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said: “The evidence is clear that CT and MRI machines that are over a decade old are not able to provide the same level of accuracy but too many of our health boards – particularly NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde – are reliant on them.

“Those in need of care are deserving of the best service possible – we cannot have people settling for less.

“The truth is that this reliance on old technology is symptomatic of 16 years of SNP failure to support our NHS.

“It’s time for Michael Matheson to act now before the situation deteriorates and hardworking NHS staff feel unable to provide first-class care to patients.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We fully support the need to properly maintain and invest in NHS scanners – which are essential for delivering high quality medical services – and last year spent £18 million on new radiotherapy and imaging equipment.

“Last year we spent £85 million on medical equipment – an increase of £15 million on the average for previous years.”