The MS for Dwyfor Meirionnydd has warned that the NHS faces a bleak and uncertain future unless urgent and drastic action is taken to address the crisis in healthcare.
Today, Wednesday, 5 July, marks 75 years since the formation of the NHS with waiting times at a record high. NHS staff have also been on strike over pay and working conditions – some for the first time – earlier this year, and staff morale is at an all-time low.
Welsh government figures show a total of 743,339 patients are currently awaiting treatment – up from 734,721 from last month whilst figures from May reveal 8,983 patients waited 12 hours or more in A&E – an increase on the previous month.
Paying tribute to NHS staff working across his Dwyfor Meirionnydd constituency and throughout Wales, Mabon ap Gwynfor warned that ‘13 years of Tory cuts and 24 years of Labour mismanagement’ had left the service on ‘life support’.
Mr ap Gwynfor proposed Plaid Cymru’s five-point plan as a means of tackling the crisis in the NHS in Wales, offering both immediate and longer-term solutions such as tackling waiting times, investing in social care, and recruiting and retaining more doctors and nurses.
He said: "Seventy-five years ago, the NHS was born in Wales – leading the way in providing healthcare to all, free at the point of need.
"Plaid Cymru is immensely proud of our NHS and the dedicated frontline staff who have provided invaluable service and care for the past 75 years.
"To all those working in our NHS across Dwyfor Meirionnydd, I want to say thank you. You are the backbone of our healthcare system and without you, there would be no NHS.
"But 13 years of savage Tory cuts and twenty-four years of Labour mismanagement has left our NHS on life support, with poorer health outcomes for patients and a burnt-out, exasperated workforce.'
"Waiting times are at record levels. Health boards such as Betsi Cadwaladr which covers my constituency, are stuck in special measures. Staff and patients are at breaking point. Simply put, our NHS will not survive another 75 years without urgent and drastic action.
"But Plaid Cymru has a vision for a better NHS. We would prioritise providing a fair pay deal for NHS workers and implement a workforce plan to recruit and retain more doctors and nurses by making our NHS an attractive place to work.
"We would prioritise preventative health measures and ensure a seamless move from health to social care to tackle waiting times. We would work to restore trust between patients and the NHS by putting an end to chronic mismanagement.
"Together, we can rebuild our NHS, making it fit for purpose: a fairer, stronger and better health and social care system in Wales, free at the point of need to all who need it – from the cradle to the grave."