Senior Labour figures urge ‘Forget Wales’

The First Minister was today asked why senior figures in his own party were ashamed to defend Labour’s record on the NHS in Wales.




The Leader of the Opposition, Andrew RT Davies AM, today challenged the First Minister over equity in the NHS after the Health Minister said that drugs available in other parts of the UK should be available to patients in Wales.




The Welsh Labour Government has come under fire from the official opposition for maintaining a policy of universal free prescriptions at a time when many cancer patients are unable to access medicines which are readily available in other parts of the UK.




In 2011 the NHS in Wales spent £3million on paracetamol to be prescribed for free.  A Cancer Drugs Fund could cost as little as £3million.




Mr Davies claimed that Mr Jones’ Westminster colleagues felt unable to defend the Welsh Labour Government’s appalling record in the NHS.  On 21st May Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham told people to ‘forget Wales’ during a discussion about the state of the NHS in Wales.




It comes the day after the Labour Party attacked the principle of universal benefits and committed to scrap universal winter fuel payments.




Andrew RT Davies said, "Carwyn Jones is looking increasingly isolated as senior Labour figures in other parts of the UK are increasingly ashamed of Labour’s record in Wales.




"It is increasingly evident that Ed Miliband has realised that Carwyn Jones’ record is not one he can defend or advocate as the Labour Party moves towards the next general election.




"Now with Labour’s pledge to abolish the universal winter fuel payment we are seeing Labour nationally distance itself from the catalogue of failure and inequity that is Labour’s record in Wales.




"How can it be right that in Labour’s Wales a millionaire can get free paracetamol, while cancer patients are denied medicines which could make a significant difference to their chances of recovery?




"Carwyn Jones’ Health Minister has said that drugs available to patients elsewhere in the UK must be available to patients in Wales, but unfortunately we haven’t seen the commitment to match the rhetoric.




"These words must be put into action so cancer patients can access fair and equitable treatment."