Thursday, December 06, 2012

Welsh NHS is a laughing-stock in Westminster

An £82m contingency fund to help struggling health boards with their finances has been announced by Health Minister Lesley Griffiths. But Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams said: "The minister is predictably denying that this is a bailout."

Griffiths had "plugged a hole in the NHS’ finances by raiding its capital budget. I struggle to see how this can be described as anything other than a bailout."

Kirsty added: “The basic fact is that this Welsh Labour Government has completely mismanaged our health service and has left the finances of the NHS in complete ruins. Simply rejigging money around is not going to solve all of the problems in our NHS.”

Conservative health ministers and David Cameron find the financial cuts in the Welsh NHS an all too convenient comparison with what is happening in England. For all the botched reorganisation in England, it cannot be denied that more cash is being put into the NHS there.

Yesterday's reply (column 860) by the Prime Minister to Ed Miliband was typical: "People do not have to look at manifestos for a contrast; they can look at what Labour is doing in Wales. The Labour party is in charge in Wales, and it has cut the NHS in Wales by 8%. As a result, waiting times are up, waiting lists are down, quality is down. That is what you get with Labour and the NHS."

Lack of care

Ann Clwyd, MP for Cynon Valley, felt that she had to take her distress over the treatment of her dying husband in a Welsh hospital to the national stage by asking a question of the Prime Minister yesterday. David Cameron was too diplomatic to point out the brutal truth which Karen Roberts has not shrunk from.

Frank Little

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