A Fife MSP is asking NHS Fife to conduct an immediate review of its practice and waiting times for people who need to have an Echocardiograph on the advice of their GP or consultant after discovering that there is a 26 week waiting time to get such a test.
Alex Rowley who has raised the issue direct with NHS Fife Chief Executive Paul Hawkins explained that an echocardiogram test may be requested by a heart specialist (cardiologist) or any doctor who thinks an individual may have a problem with their heart.
An echocardiogram can help detect damage from a heart attack, heart failure, congenital heart disease and possible infections around the heart.
Mr Rowley said; “I was contacted by a constituent who went for one of these after a heart scare and was told he would have to wait anything between 4 to 6 months. I thought this cannot be right but NHS Fife have now confirmed that the current waiting time is 27 weeks for a routine test.
“Whilst they did say urgent cases can be seen quicker I am still concerned that anyone is having to wait this time for checks to their hearts and I cannot imagine the worry this must involve. NHS Fife has said to me that they have appointed a locum cardiology physiologist to assist reducing the current waiting list and this is welcome but really having to wait over 6 months for this kind of test is not right I don’t think”.
The Labour politician who has consistently called for a review of the capacity of NHS Fife to meet the health needs of the people of Fife restated his call and said; “I want opens and transparency around our NHS in Fife. The nurses, the GPs and doctor, all the staff are run off their feet and under massive pressure and these unacceptable waiting times is yet another example of the level of pressure our services are under”.