IT seems that either deliberately or due to lack of knowledge Dr Sandesh Gulhane MSP, the Conservative health spokesperson, made a misleading comment that was “slapped down” by NHS Grampian (Health board rejects Tory claim over ‘five-year wait for scan’, Jan 22).

The doctor stated that there were patients in NHS Grampian who were waiting for nearly five years for diagnostic tests. He claimed the long delays for “potentially life-saving” diagnostic tests were “scarcely believable”.

Not true, says NHS Grampian.

These figures relate to pre-planned, post-procedure follow-up tests on patients who have already been treated.

READ MORE: Neglect of the NHS before the pandemic led us to this crisis point

Conservative MSP Sue Webber got in on the act by asking the same question in Holyrood, which says more about the Conservative party media machine.

People can make mistakes, but one would think that checking data and confirming facts or interpretation of facts would be important before expressing an opinion. Did they not know?

Or did they not understand? Unlikely. These are clever people, they are not misinformed, so it seems they are deliberately attempting to mislead the public.

The only people really affected are those patients who are waiting for treatment and hear this misinformation and worry about their treatment. We all know that stress and worry are major contributors to poor health outcomes.

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So, the only people to benefit are the mouthpieces of this inaccurate spin. The patients don’t get better service and could potentially see the service deteriorate as NHS staff are pulled off other work to provide data for FOI requests.

Perhaps, when FOIs are requested, where previous FOI data has been misused, the correct use and deployment of the FOI data should be a requirement, and future requests from the same person may require justification.

Data is an important tool, and its use is important. You don’t give a gun to someone who doesn’t know or care how to use it properly.

Alistair Ballantyne
Birkhill, Angus

HOW intriguing it is reading about the latest spat between the FM and concerned Tories like Stephen Kerr and Douglas Ross. Their concern apparently related to the thousands of school kids affected by strike action in Scotland, yet it was tinged with a hypocrisy that is all too common to the Scottish Tories and their “wrecking ball” tactics deployed against the Scottish Government – both hypocrites very happy to ignore the anti-trade union/non-negotiating antics of their Tory paymasters in London.

What concerns me yet again is the detrimental effect on children from state schools located throughout the country while private/public schools and their privileged customers and kids are unaffected. These school kids are continuing regardless with their education totally free from any worries. All part of the benefits from this form of education provided within the accepted two-tier system of education in Scotland.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon attacks 'staggering hypocrisy' of Tories over teacher strikes

Note this is happening at a time when a big Scottish Government political objective in education is to reduce the attainment gap! Yet the kids who matter in this quest are being hindered again while this other select minority group remain wealthy and untouched by such extreme, disruptive measures from teachers and their trade unions.

Even during the worst periods of the pandemic and enforced lockdown, it was notable that schools within the private school sector moved more quickly and effectively to cover the needs of the parents and their kids in isolation compared with the slow manoeuvres of the state schools that provide an education to a huge majority of our kids in

Bella Caledonia. That scenario is not right and it is totally unfair to the kids who will lose out in the process.

Bernie Japs