Posted: Tue 31st Mar 2020

Health Minister: “There is no prospect of one part of Wales being prioritised over another”

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Mar 31st, 2020

The Health Minister has said he is making all of his choices as a Minister “for the whole country”, with no area getting preferential treatment.

Sister site Wrexham.com submitted questions to the Health Minister today, the first asking “A week ago you said there was a ‘one nation pool’ of ventilators.

It appears Wales may have been gazumped for testing kit.

How firm is that one nation pool, and inside Wales what stops south Wales taking priority over the north for resources?”

The question was based off claims Welsh Government believed they had a deal in place for coronavirus testing kits, with reports Public Health England had instead had a deal in place (a situation also covered in length at todays brief, more here).

Sky News also asked about the UK-wide system and ‘whether there’s enough trust to make sure there’s a fair allocation to Wales in the months to come’

In response, Vaughan Gething said, “It is really important that the UK Government fund the need as it exists in different parts of the UK.

We could be relatively fortunate in Wales, in terms of the impact here, in which case our call on resources wouldn’t be the same.

But equally if the other position were to be the case and we had a much deeper and harder impact in Wales than the rest of the UK, I would not want to see and I do not think it’d be tenable to have a UK wide funding system and solution that didn’t recognise the differential need that different parts of the UK will have.

I can also confirm on some of the broader points about working within the four nations of the UK that the four cabinet health ministers had a meeting at the end of last week to talk about our common expectations for the way in which we expect supply chains to work.

To make sure that we had agreement on UK wide rules of equity between the four nations of the UK to make sure that supplies generally are being dealt with on a UK wide basis.”

The question was answered as a follow on to the UK wide comments, focusing on the “what stops South Wales taking priority over the North for resources.”

Mr Gething answered, “Just as within the UK we have been really clear the resources have to go to the need, that has to be the case within Wales as well.

Now is exactly the wrong time to go into stoking or creating divisions between regions of Wales that do not exist, and do not reflect the way that this national government for Wales makes choices.”

I certainly make all of my choices as a Minister for the whole country, and I hope people will see that as we make more and more choices to support our health and care system across the whole country.

Indeed, in response to the question about field hospitals, when you see the plans that exist in every part of Wales, there is no prospect of one part of Wales being prioritised over another.”

You can view the full briefing along with the Q&A session via the below video:

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