Welsh Lib Dems accuse Welsh Government of using ‘watered down GP targets’

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have accused the Welsh Labour Government of using ‘watered down GP targets’ to give the impression they are performing better than they are in reality.

The accusation from the Liberal Democrats comes after the Welsh Government issued a response to a previous accusation by the Liberal Democrats that Labour had let the number of GPs and GP practices fall since March.

In their response, the Welsh Government stated that _“in the last three years it had exceeded its GP training target of 160 places a year by 90 places”. _

While this might suggest that Welsh Government have exceeded the target by 90 places each year, however, this is not the case with the figure stated in fact being a cumulative figure for the whole three years.

The First Minister also recently said in the Siambr that despite Welsh Government targets of 160 new GPs in Wales per year, there were 183 new GPs this year.

However, this means that although the Welsh Government are above their own target of 160, they are still below the target of 200 GPs per year set by industry bodies like the BMA that are needed when you take into account the growing and ageing population of Wales.

Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dods MS said:

“Welsh Labour cannot get away with claiming they are meeting GP targets by artificially setting themselves a lower bar in order to make their performance look better than it is.

“While the BMA estimates that Wales needs 200 GPs a year, Labour are patting themselves on the back for reaching their own watered-down target of 160.

“Meanwhile, the NHS in Wales continues to come under extraordinary pressure as demand outstrips capacity.

“If we are to solve the crisis in our A&E departments and reduce waiting times for surgeries, that starts with ensuring people have easy access to a GP and preventing people from deteriorating in health at the earliest opportunity.

“Labour must prioritise GP access and measure themselves against industry-led targets rather than their own watered-down ones.”

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