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Monday, 26 January 2015

Plaid look to Scottish model as way forward on health

Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams outlined how Wales can learn from Scottish success stories when it comes to improving the Welsh Health Service currently being 'grossly mismanaged' by the Labour Welsh Government. Mr Williams, whose party, Plaid Cymru, will announce its signature health policies for the General Election in Aberystwyth later, points to performance north of the border on staffing, diagnostic waiting times, and ambulance response times which are markedly better than the same figures for Wales. He also argues that a declining health service in Wales wast not inevitable and that backing Plaid Cymru in May was the first step towards making sure that Welsh public services are well run and adequately resourced.

Commenting on what Plaid Cymru see as Labour 'mismangement', of NHS Wales, Hywel Williams said: "In Wales we have a Labour Government just managing decline in our Welsh Health Service. On staffing, diagnostic waiting times, and ambulance response times, the NHS in Scotland consistently outperforms its Welsh counterpart. Scotland faces the same challenges as its counterparts in the rest of the United Kingdom. Yet the crucial difference is that they have a competent and forward-looking administration which has put patient welfare at the heart of its decision-making process. It is not devolution that is to blame for poor performance in Wales. Nor is it the overworked and under-resourced frontline staff who are operating under unprecedented pressure. The root of the Welsh Health Service's problems lie in the lack of leadership, gross mismanagement, and a failure to deliver by Labour in government."

Turning to today's announcement of proposals from Plaid Cymru Hywel Williams commented: "Plaid Cymru will unveil its proposals to save and strengthen the Welsh Health Service. From increasing front-line staffing numbers to improving provision in our nation's many rural communities, we are equipped with pragmatic proposals to deliver the change required. The Labour Welsh Government can argue with its Westminster counterpart all it wants. But it cannot argue with the damning catalogue of its failure in power. I look forward to putting our case to the Welsh people. A declining health service is not inevitable. We can do better. We can compete with the best in the world. The first step to securing that is backing Plaid Cymru in May."