Missed waiting time targets “symptom” of general Labour mis-management of health in Wales, says Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru has raised questions over Labour’s “credibility” in terms of running the health service, in light of new waiting times figures.

The latest NHS waiting times statistics have today (Thursday 20 April) been released by the Welsh Government, which show that waiting lists for therapeutics and diagnostics have increased, and ambulance response times have got worse compared to the previous month.

Of greater significance is that, at the end of February, 37,000 patient pathways had been waiting for more than two years. Welsh Government had set a target that no-one would be waiting for more than 2 years as at the end of March 2023, and given the slow decrease in this number, it seems unlikely they will meet their own target.

This would be the second of the new targets – originally set by Welsh Government in April 2022 to tackle waiting times – that they have missed.

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

“The continued inability to get on top of unacceptable waiting times is another symptom of Labour Welsh Government’s general mismanagement of health in Wales.

“We’ve seen that most recently with Betsi Cadwaladr health board being put back into special measures, just two years after it came out. We see that with staff shortages, attitudes towards those taking industrial action and with the mess that is the dental service. Most starkly, we can see that today with waiting times that are simply too long and affect far too many people.

“Government’s inability to improve waiting times sufficiently for patients – missing their own targets in the process – raises serious questions about Labour’s credibility in terms of running the health service.

“Plaid Cymru has already published a five point plan which gets to the heart of some of the key issues within our NHS, and it focuses on the things we believe will make a real and positive difference to everyone across the health service – front line workers, patients and those that administer it.

“I don’t think it’s impossible for us to put together a vision and to deliver on that vision in a way that delivers better healthcare than we currently see being delivered here in Wales today. But when Labour can’t manage to their own targets, it makes it really hard to have the confidence we need in their ability to fix these issues.”

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