Mabon ap Gwynfor MS sets out Plaid Cymru’s plan to tackle the Health Crisis

Plaid Cymru has today set out its steps to tackle the crisis in Wales’ health and care service, addressing long standing problems faced in general practice and in hospitals across Wales.

In a speech to conference today (Saturday 23 March) Mabon ap Gwynfor MS, Plaid Cymru’s health and care spokesperson, pointed to the Labour Welsh Government’s failure to tackle the ever growing waiting lists, and detailed his party’s plans that included:

  1. Retention and training programme to recruit 500 more GPs over a two term period;
  2. Restore general practice budget to 8.7% of the NHS spend, reversing a decade of cuts;
  3. Ensure carers in Wales are paid at least £1 an hour above the real living wage;
  4. Restoring pay levels for junior doctors;
  5. Creating contracts with the hours and flexibility that nurses need.

Mr ap Gwynfor has also pointed to the link between poverty and poor health, saying that Labour Welsh Government’s failure to tackle child poverty is shoring up future demand on our health service, and that steps need to be taken now to “give our children a better chance at playing a full part in society and live their lives with dignity.”

Plaid Cymru spokesperson for health and care, Mabon ap Gwynfor MS said:

“If we really want to tackle the Health Crisis, then we really need to tackle poverty. The stark facts are that if you live in a more deprived community in Wales, you are more likely to get cancer and more likely to die from cancer. 1 in 5 of all hospital visits due to respiratory illness are as a result of poor, damp housing. And study after study have demonstrated the link between poverty and diabetes.

“The fact that a third of our children are living in poverty today – a damning indictment on this government’s dreadful record in government – means that we know that the health crisis is chronic and is here for at least another generation, unless urgent steps are taken to turn this around.

“The response from Labour in Wales has been to blame individuals and tell them to take more personal responsibility, whilst simultaneously denying there’s a crisis in our health service, cutting funds for preventative programmes and restricting the budget for local authorities who fund many of the leisure centres and healthy living activities.

“A Plaid Cymru government would acknowledge that the problems in our health service run deep and we would take immediate action to address the problems in primary care by funding more doctors. We’d also listen to the demands of the striking workforce by restoring the pay levels of junior doctors, and giving nurses the flexibility they need in their NHS contracts.

“We’d also address the issues at the point that patients need to leave the health service, by properly paying our carers. Plaid Cymru’s message to our carers is that if you care for our loved ones, then a Plaid Cymru government will care for you. We would ensure carers in Wales are paid at least £1 an hour above the real living wage ”