Plaid: Forty doctors a year could be trained in Bangor

Plaid Cymru proposes way forward after Welsh Government rules out north Wales medicine course

Plaid Cymru has proposed a way forward to strengthen NHS services in north Wales after the Welsh Government rejected step towards establishing a Medical School in Bangor. The party’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care Rhun ap Iorwerth has proposed that a joint training campus could be established between Cardiff, Swansea and Bangor Universities, with forty students per year based in Bangor.

Rhun ap Iorwerth said that whilst a new Medical School cannot be built overnight, Plaid Cymru’s proposal would begin the process of training undergraduates in Bangor.

Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care Rhun ap Iorwerth said:

“The Welsh Government’s decision to dismiss the development of medical training in Bangor was a huge disappointment to people in north Wales and a blow to NHS workers in north Wales who are currently overburdened because of the government’s inadequate workforce planning.

“It isn’t just Plaid Cymru who want this – the experts have called for it, NHS workers want it, and a recent report from the National Assembly’s Health Committee called for it.

“It’s important that we anchor students in north Wales. By aiming to have more and more undergraduates based here we can strengthen NHS services across the region. We could also develop expertise in rural medicine, and train doctors to provide services through Welsh.

“Plaid Cymru will continue to work towards eventually establishing an independent medical school in Bangor, but our proposals give us a way forward to achieving the goal of providing strong and sustainable hospital services across north Wales.”

Latest Labour setback for north Wales: No medical school for Bangor

The Labour government has today announced that it will not proceed with plans to establish a medical school in north Wales. Plaid Cymru AMs have voiced their disappointment after the decision, which the Welsh Government tried to bury on the last week of term.

Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care Rhun ap Iorwerth said that having students spend more time in north Wales will not take the place of establishing a medical school.

Arfon AM Sian Gwenllian branded it a betrayal of north Wales.

Plaid Cymru Arfon AM Sian Gwenllian said:

“The need for a medical school in Bangor is clear, and the Welsh Government has itself acknowledged this. The Welsh Government has tried to bury its bombshell for medical students and patients in north Wales in the last day of government business.

“This is a betrayal of the people of Bangor, Arfon and of north Wales. Plaid Cymru will continue to campaign for the creation of the north Wales medical school. It is an important step in developing a safe and sustainable health service in north Wales, and in developing specialist services outside of the M4 corridor.”

Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care Rhun ap Iorwerth said:

“We know that a medical school can’t be set up overnight, but this announcement is a serious setback. We’ve always advocated a collaborative approach to get things off the ground, and saying that students “will spend more time in north Wales” just isn’t good enough. We need students based in the north, our NHS needs them, and we’ve got to get the ball rolling. This Labour government clearly has no ambition.”

Plaid Cymru Arfon MP Hywel Williams said:

“I’m shocked and angered by this announcement. It has always understood from the very beginning that setting up a medical school for Bangor was the Welsh Government’s intention and previous Welsh Health Ministers have stated to me and others that Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board was a University Health Board because a medical school would be set up in partnership with the university in Bangor.”