.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Friday, October 29, 2004

Another Health Service mess

The Labour AM for Bridgend and Assembly Environment Minister, Carwyn Jones, is absolutely right to criticise the GP out-of-hours provider, Primecare, for the way that they treated him and his family.

Mr Jones contacted the service after his two year old son was taken ill on Sunday. He was told that the local out-of-hours clinic was closed until 1700 hours, and he would have to wait for a doctor to telephone him with advice. He was not given any indication when the doctor would call back, and so decided to take his son to the local accident and emergency department.

"We could not get any sense out of Primecare and we were forced to take him to A&E," he said.

"No doctor could be provided, and Primecare couldn't even give me a time when they could ring back with advice.

"It is just not acceptable to be told there are no GPs available at all. That's not an out-of-hours service," he added.

Mr. Jones asserts in his statement that this is purely a local matter. The Health Minister also states that this is a matter for the local health board to resolve. However, these statements are attempts to shift the blame. Dr David Bailey, the deputy chairman of the British Medical Association's GP committee for Wales, sums it up when he says that the Assembly Government has not funded the health board sufficiently to provide a safe service.

By all means complain but please do not expect us to believe that this has nothing to do with the Labour Assembly Government. The local Health Board is appointed by the Government and funded by them. They are responsible directly to the Health Minister and the resource issues around the out-of-hours service that led to this incident and others arose because of decisions that the Assembly Government has taken.

If collective responsibility means anything then Carwyn Jones is as culpable as Jane Hutt for this mess. He should remember that others, who have also been badly treated, may not be as articulate nor have the same access to the media, the Health Board and the Health Minister as he does. Perhaps, instead of complaining to the Health Board, he should be exerting pressure within Government to sort the problem out.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?