A new law should be passed in Wales to protect the NHS from Brexit and privatisation, according to Plaid Cymru.
The party’s shadow health minister Helen Mary Jones AM has said that Brexit puts the NHS “at risk of privatisation through a trade deal with the US”.
Ms Jones said that the Senedd should pass a law, known as the NHS Protection Act, to prevent any part of the Welsh NHS from being privatised in the event of Brexit happening.
Last month it was reported that senior civil servants had held secret meetings with US companies to discuss the NHS in post-Brexit trade negotiations.
While health is devolved to Wales, trade negotiations with other countries are not, and the UK Government would be able to sell parts of the Welsh NHS to secure a US free trade agreement.
Ms Jones said that the Senedd should be given a legally binding vote on proposed trade agreements when the terms of those agreements affect devolved areas such as health.
Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Minister for Health and Social Care Helen Mary Jones AM said:
“Not only does Brexit pose an existential threat to our agriculture and manufacturing industries, it also puts our precious NHS at risk of privatisation through a trade deal with the US.
“Tragically, while Boris Johnson pursues Brexit at all costs, Jeremy Corbyn still refuses to show any kind of leadership on this most important issue. We don’t need neutrality – we need determination and courage.
“Our democratically-elected Senedd should pass an NHS Protection Act to stop this from happening and must be given the opportunity to approve or veto any future trade deal which affects areas like the NHS that are the responsibility of our own devolved government.
“Labour runs the Welsh Government. If it wanted to pass an NHS Protection Bill in Wales, it could. But thus far, we have heard nothing about this from Labour in Wales.
“Meanwhile, Plaid Cymru has set out a plan to train and recruit 1,000 new doctors, 5,000 new nurses, and 100 new NHS dentists, and to ensure that everyone in Wales has access to the health and care services they need through a new, seamless National Health and Care Service.
“It’s clear: for an NHS in public hands which serves the needs of Wales, it’s us.”