Not proven that the Health Service is up to the task:
PATIENTS are having to wait longer for routine operations such as hip and knee replacements, despite claims that waiting lists are at an all-time low.
Figures obtained by The Scotsman show that since 1998, median waiting times have increased for 17 out of 25 common procedures.
In some cases, patients are being forced to wait for more than two years for surgery. And there are massive variations in the performance of individual health boards, with patients in some areas waiting twice as long, on average, as elsewhere in the country.
Patients' groups said Scots waiting for routine surgery were paying the price as the NHS concentrated on treating killer diseases like cancer.