Welsh Conservatives have condemned the latest set of waiting time figures – which show government targets have been missed again and another 4,000 people have been added to NHS lists.
One in eight people (or 389,871) were waiting for the start of their treatment at the end of March.
When Carwyn Jones became First Minister at the end of 2009, that figure stood at 227,000; a rise of over 70 per cent.
Of those waiting for a first appointment during March, 5,414 had been on a list for more than 36 weeks. A government target recommends no-one should wait that long.
27,770 people had been waiting between 26 and 36 weeks. This target was also missed.
Welsh Conservatives have repeatedly called for the Labour government to get a grip of the on-going problem and properly support health boards in reducing long waiting times.
The group also led a recent Assembly debate calling for consideration of measures to deter a small minority of patients who consistently miss hospital appointments.
Shadow Minister for Health, Darren Millar AM, said:
“Since Carwyn Jones became First Minister, NHS waiting times in Wales have been very low on his list of priorities.
“Spiralling waits for treatment only serve to hit the most vulnerable hardest and place further pressure on hard-working NHS staff. This situation cannot be allowed to continue.
“Welsh Labour's record-breaking budget cuts have hit services right across the board. Their knock-on effects can be seen in the recent A and E crisis, bed and staffing shortages, and in ambulance service failings.
“Waiting times are another example of a health service buckling under the pressure and I urge the health minister to liaise closely with health boards to find an urgent solution.”