Labour leader Anas Sarwar highlighted cancer and the need to catch up on undiagnosed cases as a result of the Covid pandemic.

Labour said up to an estimated 7,000 people in Scotland are believed to be living with undiagnosed cancer as a result of the pandemic’s impact on services and suspension of screenings.

He said over the course of the pandemic, thousands of people have missed out on screenings and many more have had their appointments postponed, delayed or cancelled.

Adding there were 100,913 patients on the waiting list at the end of December 2020 and almost half (44.1%) had already waited over the target six weeks.

Labour says its NHS Recovery Plan is focused on clearing the backlog in cancer treatment, increasing screening capacity, reducing delays for screenings, and ensuring that by the end of the parliament every patient receives their diagnosis and starts treatment within two weeks.

Sarwar said: “At this election, building a world class cancer care system is on the ballot.

“But to do that we must be focused on our national recovery.

“Right now there are thousands of people in Scotland who have cancer, but don’t know about it.

“That’s why cancer care is at the heart of Scottish Labour’s NHS recovery plan.

“The SNP cannot be relied on to prioritise recovery because it has already made clear that it will prioritise a referendum.”

While the SNP is campaigning on Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership to continue through the covid pandemic and into the recovery period before, then holding a referendum on independence.

Nicola Sturgeon is today unveiling two campaign buses promoting the ‘Both Votes SNP’ message.

Sturgeon said: “This Thursday I am asking people to give both votes to the SNP, to elect a government which will provide experienced leadership and serious government to keep Scotland safe at this crucial time. Last year our world changed. This year can be a year of hope and optimism - as we work not only to keep Scotland safe, but to build a better country.

“Thursday’s crucial election is about who has the experience to lead Scotland out of the pandemic and into recovery. Only the SNP is putting forward a serious programme for government to remobilise our NHS, rebuild our economy and help our communities recover.

“My focus will continue to be fully on tackling the pandemic but when the crisis has passed, people in Scotland have the right to decide their own future, and whether Scotland would be better off with the full powers of an independent country.”

Douglas Ross, Tory leader said pro-UK voters have “one shot” to stop another independence referendum. If the SNP win a majority, they’ve been clear that they intend to hold indyref2 no matter what the UK Government says.”