The Scottish Government has been accused of ignoring a “critical” shortage of doctors as the British Medical Association called for urgent action in several areas to tackle problems in the NHS.The intervention came on a day when new figures revealed 12 out of the country’s 14 health boards had missed the cancer treatment time of 62 days, and an official report raised concerns over staff shortages in a report on the “unnecessary” deaths of six babies at one hospital.Dr Peter Bennie, chairman of BMA Scotland, said urgent action was needed on areas including the underfunding of the service, a shortage of doctors and a lack of resources to deliver an “integrated health and social care service”.He also highlighted the lack of time available to doctors to “keep themselves up to date, to teach others, and to make joint decisions with patients”. He said doctors felt increasingly stressed and overburdened and patient care was suffering as a result. Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour health spokesman, said the figures were an “absolute disgrace”.Elsewhere, a review was released after six babies died died in so-called unnecessary deaths at Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock, since 2008. The report called for improvements in training and better family engagement.The Scottish Government ordered Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) to carry out the review last year after families whose babies died during childbirth at Ayrshire Maternity Unit spoke out about their experiences.The most recent review into “adverse events” from December 2013 onwards found staff were unsure how to respond to such an event once it was initially reported.NHS Ayrshire and Arran apologised to the families involved and said it is committed to continuous improvement. Shona Robison, the Health Minister, has promised bereaved families that improvements will be made following the review.She told Holyrood the “substandard” practices uncovered within NHS Ayrshire and Arran were “unacceptable” as she gave a personal commitment that action would be taken.On the cancer figures, she said average waits were still “longer than we would expect and I want to see further improvement”, adding: “We will continue to ensure timely access to diagnostics and treatment for the remaining patients who did not receive their treatment within 62 days. He said: “Good health services cost money and health spending is a political choice. The UK spends a smaller proportion of its national wealth than the average levels spent by comparable leading European nations, and the BMA is calling for that to change, in all four nations.”We want the Scottish public to be consulted on what they need from the health service, and they must be told honestly how much it will cost.”Politicians must then decide if this is affordable, and if not, how they are going to bridge the gap – through additional funding, or by being honest with the public about what they are prepared to fund.”Meanwhile, cancer charities called for urgent progress on waiting-times as new figures reveal only two health boards – NHS Dumfries and Galloway and NHS Lanarkshire – had met the 62-day target for cancer treatment.Only 88.1 per cent of patients with an urgent referral for a suspicion of cancer started treatment within the time period between January and March, falling short of the Scottish Government’s target of 95 per cent.Cancer Research UK said the figures painted an “all too familiar picture”. Gregor McNie, the charity’s senior public affairs manager in Scotland, said: “It’s clear some patients in Scotland are still waiting far too long for diagnosis and treatment.” “To fund this work, yesterday I announced an additional £2.85 million investment for NHS boards.”Ms Robison responded to the BMA’s warnings by claiming the government had delivered an all-time record number of NHS staff, with “an increase of more than 12,0000 since taking office, as well as record high funding for Scotland’s health service”.She added: “We are increasing the NHS revenue budget by £2 billion by the end of this parliament, by which point more than half of frontline spending will be in community health services.” He also used his speech to the BMA’s annual meeting in Bournemouth to say that a report by Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer called Realistic Medicine in Scotland had embodied “the way we have all been taught to practise, and that we all try to practise”. It was about sitting with a patient, giving them information about their own responsibilities for their health, discussing all the options, and helping them to decide what is best for them.But he added that it would only work if doctors and patients had enough time together to make joint decisions. Dr Bennie added: “The Scottish Government repeatedly says that there are more doctors than ever before, but this is simply ignoring a major risk to the health service, and it is demoralising and frustrating for doctors to hear time and time again. “We need a realistic approach to workforce planning in Scotland which is based on an honest and shared understanding of the current medical workforce numbers, and an evidence based view of what future healthcare demand will mean for the number of doctors required. We need a clear and agreed approach to delivering and retaining this future workforce.”We need to be able to fill vacancies so that we can look after our patients properly and take care of our own health, reducing the risk of burnout.”Government and employers need to work with us, to listen to the opportunities we have identified for improving the working lives of doctors, and to take urgent action now.” Shon Robison is under pressure over NHS problemsCredit:PA Doctors do ‘not have enough time’ to do their jobs properlyCredit:PA Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.