The Tories have claimed that NHS Tayside’s staffing difficulties are worse than first thought.
North East Scotland Conservative MSP Liam Kerr said new figures obtained by his party “show that NHS Tayside is struggling more than we already knew”.
The latest published Information Services Division workforce statistics for March 31 2017 show 23.7 consultant vacancies, equating to a vacancy rate of 4.8%.
However, the Tories submitted a freedom of information request to NHS Tayside and said the response reveals “a much higher rate of vacancies”.
The figures for May 31 2017 show 16 roles being actively recruited — plus 47 posts being covered by locums and 10 not currently being advertised.
With 491 consultants in post, the Tories said that equates to a vacancy rate of 13%.
Dr Alan Cook, medical director for the operational unit for NHS Tayside, said: “Providing clinically safe and effective care is always our priority when we are staffing our wards and departments and we will take all steps to ensure that we provide appropriate staffing levels.
“Unfortunately, there is a national shortage of consultants in certain specialities which is affecting NHS boards across Scotland.”