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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Labour MP blasts Labour's handling of Welsh NHS

Labour's handling of the Welsh NHS has come under sustained criticism in the past, both from the opposition parties in the Assembly and also from the Prime Minister.

Essentially, despite spending more per head here than on the other side of Offa's Dyke, and despite the hard-working, dedicated and under-resourced staff, patients in Wales are having to wait longer for treatment in a whole range of areas than their counterparts in England.

Now a Labour MP has rejoined the fray with her own criticism, describing diagnostic waiting times for a series of medical conditions in Wales as “shocking and simply not good enough”.

The Western Mail reports that Cynon Valley MP, Ann Clwyd, who was highly critical of the Welsh NHS over the treatment of her husband Owen Roberts before his death in 2012, has said that the latest data reveals startling differences between figures for NHS Wales and the NHS in England:

Figures for October 2015 from the House of Commons Library list the number and percentage of patients waiting six weeks and more for specified procedures.

In many cases far more people are waiting longer in Wales than over the border.

Ms Clwyd said: “These figures reveal a situation which is shocking and simply not good enough.

“The litmus test for any government is the way in which it responds to the needs of the sick and the vulnerable.

“On that basis, the Welsh Government clearly has to get to grips with the situation and do so as a matter of urgency.”

Welsh Labour often dismiss criticism as the opposition playing politics. However the figures speak for themselves and even with the improvements that are listed we are still trailing behind England. Ann Clwyd is quite right to speak out. If only more of her colleagues followed her example.
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