Our vision for a healthy Wales
Elin Jones AM - Shadow Minister for Health and Well-being
Wales is the birthplace of the NHS and we are rightly proud of that contribution. The NHS in Wales today is one in need of renewed leadership. I want to get the Welsh health service at its best, for staff and patients.
Plaid Cymru believe in the founding principles of the National Health Service, where access is free to all and available to all, wherever we may live.
Health and well-being are not isolated factors. They are influenced by work and wealth, and by good housing and sport and leisure facilities. Doctors and drugs may keep us alive or keep us able, but our individual health and well-being is dependent on our society’s general health and well-being.
I want our NHS to provide a comprehensive primary GP and nurse service in our communities. We expect to be within reach of an acute hospital that can save our lives in an emergency and I want to see a network of regional, specialist hospitals that provide world-leading medical treatments and intervention. Such services should be seamless for people, where administrative and geographic barriers do not hinder access.
I believe that health and social care should be merged and provide a fully integrated service, meeting the needs of the individual rather than being driven by institutional priorities and budgets. Health care should be free at the point of need and that payment for social care should be fair and transparent.
Plaid Cymru wants to train, retain and recruit a well-motivated, caring and expert NHS and social care workforce. We want to increase our capacity to train the future medical workforce and we will incentivise training in hard-to-recruit areas and specialisms.
For the elderly and vulnerable, then social carers play a critical role and we need to respect and pay such workers to adequately reflect their increasing value to our society.
Our medical treatments and technologies need to be world-leading. We want to see the Welsh NHS participate in more clinical trials and research. We want to see improved availability of diagnostics for cancers and chronic conditions. We want to see a medical service that is judged on its outcomes for people, not on inputs.
Our people’s mental and physical health is of equal importance. My aim is to foster a society free of mental health stigma and provide a medical and support service that is tailored around the individual. Where individuals have developed substance addictions, then we want to provide a service to enable people to conquer their addiction.
Getting Wales back at its best in health needs a renewed energy and new political leadership. We are in a sad context today where hospitals are being pitted against each other for closure and where the NHS in Wales is used as a political football by some political parties.
Plaid Cymru want the NHS back in the hands of patients, back as the envy of the medical profession.
Download our consultation document on our plans to strengthen the NHS in Wales.