“NHS pressures are not just simply about seasonality – in fact, these problems pre-date the pandemic” – Rhun ap Iorwerth MS

The latest NHS waiting time figures, released today (Thursday 22 September), show that waiting lists have grown to a record of over 743,000 patient pathways.

Responding to these figures, Member of the Senedd for Ynys Môn and Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for health and social care, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said:

“We’ve reached a stage – and it’s been clear to me that we’ve been here for some time – that the pressures being faced by our NHS are not just simply about seasonality. We’re at the end of the summer, waiting lists are as long as ever – with many important metrics getting worse – and this isn’t just about clearing the backlog from ‘winter pressure’. In fact, the problems being faced by our NHS pre-date the pandemic.

“Clearly, we need to see action taken now to increase capacity and to improve patient flow, but the Welsh Government has to ensure that things are sustainable for the long term. That has to include a dramatic change in attitudes – and Government funding – towards preventative health measures. We need a prevention revolution to help release the pressure on our NHS.”

Responding to reports from the BBC that patients are paying for operations abroad rather than facing long waits in Wales, Mr ap Iorwerth said:

“Too many people are being left to wait in pain for too long – is it any wonder that they are seeking solutions elsewhere? The key principle of the NHS is that ‘good healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth’ and yet one consequence of ever-lengthening waiting lists is the entrenchment of a three tier healthcare system – those that can afford private healthcare from the start, those who have the means to pay for treatment after waiting for too long, and everyone else.”


BBC article: NHS waiting list in Wales: Patients turn to surgery abroad – BBC News