THE misery that the UK welfare reforms have caused disabled people has been highlighted often by this paper.
But that makes the cases cited by doctors today in the Sunday Herald no less shocking. They are proof this system has failed.
There is the patient with schizophrenia who believed he was the Messiah, yet was declared fit to work. There is the man who suffered a stroke and had lung cancer but was too scared to go to hospital in case he missed a benefits appointment, fearing he would be at risk of losing his money.
There are examples of patients with mental health problems left so distraught at being told they are fit to work they have become suicidal.
This is not a system, this is a cruel disgrace. These examples hardly fit with the picture painted by the Westminster government of the “workshy” living it up at the taxpayer’s expense.
While Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith preaches of tackling welfare dependency, it is doctors who are witnessing the impact of his “reforms”.
This is placing a burden on the NHS – a situation which is expected to get worse as more welfare changes are introduced.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Health Secretary Alex Neil have warned there is an “intolerable strain” on care services and urged Duncan Smith to ensure there is a “fair, equitable” process that gets decisions right first time. This must be introduced to ensure benefit claimants and the NHS do not continue to be the victims of a flawed system.