The SNP Government has overseen a cut of more than 2,000 hospital beds across the country in the last five years, new figures have revealed.
At the end of December there were an average of 20,021 staffed beds each day within Scottish hospitals.
That compares to 22,078 in December 2015, demonstrating a downward trend over the last parliamentary term.
The research also revealed that bed numbers dipped below 20,000 for the first time between July and September last year during the Covid pandemic.
The official figures were published by ISD Scotland.
Pro-UK campaign group Scotland in Union said the statistics are further proof of how the SNP government has neglected the health service during its time in power.
Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said:
“This is further proof that the SNP has neglected Scotland’s NHS while it obsesses about breaking up the UK.
“The figures show a reduction of more than 2,000 beds available each day since the same point five years ago.
“In that time the population has increased, meaning the NHS has been put under considerable strain.
“And when the health service was at its most vulnerable during the Covid pandemic, bed numbers dropped below 20,000 for the first time.
“SNP ministers have chosen to reduce the number of beds, and they owe it to the public to explain why.”