“It’s disgraceful that it has taken until now to start seeing things from the perspective of women and girls in healthcare” says Ynys Môn MS

Rhun ap Iorwerth welcomes Welsh Government’s ten-year women’s health plan but insists that it must bring real change

On Tuesday 5 July 2022, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS responded to the Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan’s quality statement on women and girls’ health. In that statement, Welsh Government also announced plans for an autumn publication of a ten-year women’s health plan. This comes two months after Plaid Cymru tabled a motion to the Senedd emphasising the importance of addressing issues around women and girls’ health.

Whilst welcoming the statement, Rhun ap Iorwerth, Member of the Senedd for Ynys Môn asked for an assurance that adequate resources would be set aside to implement the plan, emphasising the need for it to make a real difference to women and girls’ lives.

The British Heart Foundation estimates that the deaths of 8,000 women over a 10-year period could have been prevented if they had received cardiac care suited to their needs.

In his response to the plans, Rhun ap Iorwerth, Member of the Senedd for Ynys Mon said:

“It is astonishing and disgraceful, if truth be told, that it has taken us until now to start seeing things from the perspective of women and girls in healthcare.”

Mr ap Iorwerth, a member of the Senedd’s Health and Social Care Committee and Plaid Cymru spokesperson on Health and Care, not only questioned how the plan would be financed but also how progress would be measured, stressing the need to ensure that a real change is made to the care that women and girls receive.

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS added:

“It is crucial that women feel a difference, and that we as parliamentarians see that the plan announced by Welsh Government makes a difference.

“I therefore asked the Minister how women will be able to witness and get a feeling that there has been a change and that that change is having a clear impact on the care that they receive within our health and care services.”

The Minister, Eluned Morgan MS, announced that health boards would have to meet the plan within their own resources but that in its development £160,000 of additional finance has been set aside.


Local AM Rhun ap Iorwerth pledges to make “every daffodil count” for Marie Curie this February

Ynys Môn AM, Rhun ap Iorwerth has pledged to encourage constituents to donate and wear their iconic Marie Curie daffodil throughout February and March to help the charity’s Nurses provide care and support to people living with a terminal illness.

Rhun ap Iorwerth joined forces with Marie Curie Nurses Amy Law, Sue Thomas and Ruth McGhee at an event at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay on Tuesday 6th February to help launch the Great Daffodil Appeal, Marie Curie’s biggest annual fundraising campaign.

As well lending his support to the appeal, Rhun ap Iorwerth is also encouraging Ynys Môn people to help the charity raise more money than ever before by simply giving a donation and wearing a Marie Curie daffodil pin, available from volunteers across Wales, Marie Curie shops, Superdrug, Spar, Poundworld, Hotter Shoes and Wyevale garden centres.

Rhun ap Iorwerth said: “Funds raised through the Marie Curie Great Daffodil Appeal help provide care and support to people at a time when they need it the most. I hope the people of Wales will join me in supporting people affected by terminal illness across the country by proudly wearing their Marie Curie daffodil throughout February and March.”

Simon Jones, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Wales, for Marie Curie, added: “To have the support of Rhun ap Iorwerth makes a huge difference to Marie Curie. With their help we are able to raise awareness about what we do and reach more people who need us.

“Our services rely on charitable donations, so I’d like to express a heartfelt thank you to everyone who gives a donation and wears a daffodil pin this February and March. The money raised from the Great Daffodil Appeal will help Marie Curie Nurses provide care and support to people living with a terminal illness, and their loved ones, in homes across Wales, as well as in the charity’s Cardiff & the Vale Hospice in Penarth.”

Make Every Daffodil Count and volunteer to support now: mariecurie.org.uk/daffodil or call 0800 304 7025*.
For more information on how to get involved in the Great Daffodil Appeal, please 0800 304 7025.

Picture caption: Rhun ap Iorwerth pictured with Marie Curie Nurses Amy Law, Sue Thomas and Ruth McGhee

Rhun ap Iorwerth calls for halt to privatisation within Welsh NHS

More Welsh NHS services are being outsourced to a private company, revealed Plaid Cymru Chief Whip Rhun ap Iorwerth, deputising for Leanne Wood during First Minister’s Questions.

Dialysis services in Wrexham Maelor are due to be privatised “under First Minister Carwyn Jones’s watch” he said, with £700,000 of savings coming from “staff entitlements to sickness pay, holiday pay and pensions”.

The discussions are thought to involve the outsourcing of the service to a private company such as ‘B Braun Avitum’, which already runs the dialysis services in Ysbyty Gwynedd and Alltwen.

The service could be transferred to a private company within a matter of weeks and is out for tender through the Welsh Government’s “Sell2Wales” procurement notice. Under the privatisation plans, staff are outsourced to a private company and are no longer entitled to NHS-level terms and conditions.

Rhun ap Iorwerth pointed out that a two tier health system was growing under the Labour Government, with patients being encouraged to consider paying for quicker treatment or diagnosis because of long waiting times.

Speaking after FMQs, Rhun ap Iorwerth said:

“It’s extraordinary that the Labour First Minister of Wales is allowing creeping privatisation of NHS services under his watch.

“Labour’s 2016 manifesto pledged that the ‘NHS will be modernised but not privatised’, but given this example of privatisation and the recent winter crisis, it seems to be more a case of ‘privatised but not modernised’.

“It’s also becoming clear that unduly long waiting times are creating a two-tier health system, where those with the ability to pay are able to have operations within a reasonable timeframe, but those relying on the NHS face long waits that could potentially affect their final health outcomes.

“This is not about ideology, this is about ensuring that providing Welsh patients with the care that they need is the priority rather than allowing private companies to make a profit by picking away at important NHS services. It’s also about protecting hard-working staff, who are already in a stressful job, facing reduced terms and conditions.

“It’s time the Welsh Government came forward with a long-term plan for a sustainable Welsh NHS.”

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.”

Urgent progress needed on doctor recruitment

Plaid Cymru warns of urgent need to implements its plan for a thousand doctors

Without a focused effort to drive up the number of doctors working in Wales the NHS could face the most difficult winter yet, Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health Rhun ap Iorwerth has warned.

Over the last three years, the number of GPs in Wales has fallen by around 30. Meanwhile, 97% of GP practices have reported a rise in demand for appointments.
Rhun ap Iorwerth called on the government to implement Plaid Cymru’s plan to train and recruit a thousand extra doctors to the NHS, or else the service could face its most difficult winter to date.

Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health Rhun ap Iorwerth said:

“Demand for health services is going up whilst the number of doctors we have is going down. Unless the Welsh Government acts quickly to increase the number of doctors, the NHS could be facing its most difficult winter to date.

“Every winter, the demand for services peaks, but this year we are heading into the coldest part of the year with fewer GPs. The Welsh Government needs to come up with a plan quickly.

“The Welsh Government tells us that it has more doctors than ever before working in the NHS, but we know that many of these are working part time. The number of GPs specifically has fallen and to deny this is to do a disservice to the whole NHS workforce that is being stretched to the limit to meet demands placed upon the rest of it because of our GP shortage.

“Plaid Cymru’s plan to train and recruit a thousand extra doctors to the NHS could be used to drive up the number of doctors we have working in the service quickly and sustainably. We want to see more places in Welsh medical schools, and we want to incentivise doctors to work in difficult-to-recruit areas so that we can strengthen services in all parts of Wales.”