Posted: Wed 4th Jan 2023

Welsh Health Minister accused of being ‘missing in action’ as NHS faces major pressures

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Jan 4th, 2023

Wales’ Health Minister has been accused by a political opponent of being missing in action as the NHS faces major pressures.

It comes after the Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation described the country’s health system as being “on a knife edge” in terms of its ability to cope with the demand on services.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board declared a critical incident earlier this week as it said it was struggling to cope with the level of pressure in north Wales.

Health officials in the region said high levels of flu, Covid and other respiratory viruses had contributed to the problems.

Plaid Cymru spokesperson for health and care, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, said decisive action was required by the Welsh Government to address the situation.

However, he claimed Health Minister Eluned Morgan was “no-where to be seen” after the BBC ran three separate stories on the crisis in the NHS within the last 24 hours.

He said Ms Morgan had not provided a response to any of the stories, nor had she appeared in any interviews.

In one of the last Senedd sessions of 2022, she expressed hope that the NHS would improve by the time the Welsh Parliament met again.

But Mr ap Iorwerth said hope on its own was not enough to solve the problems.

He said: “When experts are using terms like ‘knife-edge’ and ‘breaking point’ to describe the critical state that the NHS in Wales is in, it requires an urgent and decisive response from Welsh Government.

“Yet our Health Minister – who at the very least should be visible – is no-where to be seen.

“Our heroic health and care workers, who are not only dealing with extreme pressures from increased demand and staff shortages, are now having to front up for TV interviews. Meanwhile the Health Minister is missing in action.

“It is not good enough for Welsh Government to lay the blame on UK Government – while it’s true that Westminster holds the purse strings, Welsh Government is not powerless to act.

“Plaid Cymru has long been calling on them to use all the levers at their disposal to do something – anything – to show they are listening and that our NHS is a priority for them.”

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