Andrew RT Davies AM, Leader of the Opposition, today challenged Labour leader Carwyn Jones to deliver improvements in the National Health Service, following a recent spate of worrying performance figures.
It comes almost two years on from polling day in the 2011 assembly election, when Carwyn Jones pledged a fourth term of Labour government would be about delivery.
Figures published last week showed that ambulance response times have hit their lowest point since 2010 – just 53% of ambulances arrived at the scene of a life-threatening call within eight minutes.
Accident & Emergency department waiting time targets have not been met since 2009, while the target for 95% of patients with urgent suspected cancer to start treatment within 62 days of diagnosis has not been met since 2008.
Mr Davies today questioned the point of setting targets if Welsh Labour Ministers are not taking tough measures to meet them. He also accused the First Minister of making excuses for his own failure, revealing that of the last 14 exchanges on the NHS in First Minister’s Questions, 11 of Carwyn Jones’ responses referred to the UK Government.
Andrew RT Davies said, “Carwyn Jones returned to power after the last election and said this term would be about delivery, yet consistent NHS performance data shows standards are getting worse.
“A&E waiting times and cancer treatment waiting time targets have not been met since 2009 and 2008 respectively, while ambulance response times are worryingly low.
“If target waiting times and ambulance response times are being missed, patients are needlessly suffering and lives are being put at risk.
“Every week, Carwyn Jones dismisses serious questions about NHS performance under his leadership with feeble excuses and passes the buck to Westminster.
“The First Minister should stop disrespecting Welsh patients and answer for the impact his record-breaking NHS cuts are having on frontline services.
“It is time for Carwyn Jones to take responsibility for his own actions and start taking the tough decisions needed to improve the standard of services in our health service.”