NOTE: This content is old - Published: Friday, Aug 9th, 2013.
Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar AM is seriously concerned at the substantial increase in hospital waiting times in North Wales over the last three months.
Latest figures show that the number of people waiting over 36 weeks for their first hospital appointment in North Wales has increased by 66% since April, double the 33% all-Wales increase.
A Welsh Government target recommends no-one should wait longer than 36 weeks when referred to hospital by their GP.
“The total number of people on an NHS waiting list in Wales is now 80 per cent higher than it was when Carwyn Jones became First Minister at the end of 2009. At that point, 227,000 patients were waiting for treatment. At the end of June that figure stood at 410,000.
“It is particularly concerning that that the increase in North Wales is substantially higher that the all-Wales increase. This needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.”
The Health Minister recently announced a review into NHS funding – and later admitted this would amount to a summer ‘interrogation’ of the budget with the Finance Minister.
Welsh Conservative Assembly Members have consistently called for the health budget to be protected in line with inflation – as it is in England. The Welsh Conservatives represent the only party to stand for significant additional investment in the NHS – a policy that has stood since before the last Assembly election.
“These waits lay bare the true scale of the cash crisis in the Welsh NHS.
“Waiting times are no longer creeping up – they’re now skyrocketing – fuelled by Welsh Labour’s record-breaking cuts to the health budget.
“As health boards struggle to break even and balance the books, it is patients and their families who are hit the hardest.
“That’s unacceptable and unfair – particularly for those in pain, the vulnerable, and those suffering from a poor quality of life.
“The Minister’s review into funding must come up with more cash to eliminate target busting waiting times and give patients the treatment they deserve.
“To expect hardworking NHS staff to deliver on Welsh Government targets without the necessary resources is unreasonable.