Hywel Dda: 'First Minister's flippancy degrades patients' dignity'

Operations have been postponed for a third day at Hywel Dda University Health Board (HDUHB), and Shadow Health Minister Angela Burns AM/AC comments:

“The statements made by the First Minister in the Chamber yesterday (January 7) contradict sharply the earlier statements made by HDUHB in relation to the postponement of inpatient operations – now (January 8) in its third day – at hospitals in the area.

“HDUHB called it an ‘extraordinary weekend’, citing ‘critical pressures’ as the reason why operations were cancelled, whereas the First Minister stated that the health board had planned these postponements, and that this was supported by the Welsh Labour Government. What is the truth, and who is telling it?

“Further, I am appalled at some of the language used by this flippant First Minister. In the Chamber yesterday, in response to my question about Hywel Dda, he dismissed the cancelled operations saying ‘only a few’ were affected.

“Just imagine being one of those patients.

“Just imagine – bearing in mind the parlous state of NHS Wales under this Labour administration – having to wait longer for an operations than you should have, only to have it cancelled, then to have this dismissed as being one of only ‘a few’.

“Hywel Dda is in crisis, and the casual callousness of the First Minister degrades patients' dignity while adding to their anxiety. I and my Welsh Conservative colleagues continually tell the First Minister and the Health Minister to ‘get a grip’ of NHS Wales, but clearly they cannot.

“Long-suffering patients in Wales will, thankfully, get the opportunity next year to remove those Labour fingers from health services here, and put in place a party that will manage NHS Wales.”

Speaking in the Chamber today, Mrs Burns said:

“There is a lack of imagination in NHS Wales contingency planning for winter, which lets down the patients and the dedicated staff. [Planning] needs to be smarter and more agile, so that the same situation doesn't happen a year from now."