Published: 07/06/2002, Volume II2, No. 5808 Page 6

The NHS in Scotland has officially scrapped waiting-list targets after announcing it had achieved its aim of reducing the number of patients waiting to below 75,000.Figures released last Thursday show just under 72,000 were waiting by 31 March 2002, a reduction of 11 per cent on the previous quarter.Scottish health minister Malcolm Chisholm said all efforts would now be focused on reducing waiting times.However, the Scottish National Party pointed out that patients in Scotland were actually waiting longer for treatment while hospitals were treating fewer people.The median waiting time has risen by seven days to 30 days in the two years to 31 March, while the number of patients treated in Scottish hospitals has dropped by 10,000.