“Inexplicable” that Health Minister refers to scrutiny on Welsh Government poor performance on health as “harping on”

Plaid Cymru has renewed calls for a public inquiry to look “transparently and forensically” into scandal-hit Betsi Cadwaladr – Wales’ largest health board.

For the second time, the Health Minister has sidestepped the call for such an inquiry.

In Plenary today, Plaid Cymru’s health spokesperson, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, asked whether there will ever reach a point where “enough is enough” and re-organisation of the health boards structure is something the Health Minister would consider.

In response, the Health Minister described the scrutiny as “harping on” and deflected to fact that “in England, where despite the fact that they have 21 hospitals in special measures equivalent… never, as far as I can tell, has there been a question on the floor of the house in the House of Commons on any one of those.”

Plaid Cymru spokesperson for health and care, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said:

“Plaid Cymru’s position is clear – we need a fresh start in Betsi Cadwaladr. We know the brilliant care provided by staff, but we also know – through waiting times figures, complaints processes, patient concerns, staff exasperation – that things can’t go on like this.

“Even in her response to me today, the Minister talked about the need to turn over a new leaf and how important it is that ‘this dreadful situation is unearthed’. But Welsh Government refuses to even consider structural change or an inquiry into what’s gone wrong.

“What’s more, the Minister seemed affronted that she should be closely scrutinised, on the basis that the UK Government doesn’t. But just because she clearly thinks Labour in Westminster is doing a poor job at holding the Tories to account over their poor record on health in England, doesn’t mean that Plaid Cymru shouldn’t be doing its job in holding Welsh Government to account over their performance here!

“I’m convinced we need to start again with health in the north, but at the very least we need an inquiry that can look transparently and forensically at what has happened in Betsi's past, so we can make plans for its future - for the future of those staff working in it and the patients dependent on it.”