Responding to new statistics that show numbers on waiting lists for non-urgent hospital treatment in Wales have again hit record levels, Plaid Cymru spokesperson for health and care Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said,
“These statistics paint a bleak picture and expose just how frail our NHS is now.
“Our NHS was already suffering from chronic underinvestment and mismanagement prior to the pandemic. Now, health boards and health and care staff across Wales are crumbling under additional pressure caused by Covid.
“Targets continue to be missed. Waiting times are now the worst they have ever been. And behind these figures are real people – patients – in pain or under unbearable stress waiting unjustifiably long for treatment or diagnosis.
“While any additional funding is welcome, there’s very little clarity on how the £551m will be used. And hand in hand with any short-term plan to deal with the developing situation as we head into winter, we need to see from Government a long-term post-Covid plan to tackle long waiting times, prioritise services like cancer diagnostic and treatment, and approach investing in our NHS with the innovation it requires.
“We cannot be trapped in an endless cycle where waiting times are getting increasingly worse and the only solution the Government can come up with is to provide short term fixes which change very little in the long run.
“We owe it to health and care workers to relieve the pressure, to repay them for their commitment in our hour of need, and to give them the support they need to do what they are trained to do.