NHS Staff Speak Out Against Tory and Plaid Cymru Plans for the NHS in Wales

NHS staff have spoken out against Tory and Plaid Cymru plans for the health service in Wales.

Pledging their support to Welsh Labour, they said only Labour will keep the NHS safe in Wales and free for all.

Speaking as the first all-out junior doctor strike enters its second day in England, doctors in Wales warned Tory cuts will have a devastating impact on patient care in Wales.

Dr Steve Short, a GP in South Wales, said: “We’ve all seen what’s happening in England this week with the junior doctor strikes. The Tories are running the English NHS into the ground and selling it off piece by piece to the private sector. We can’t let that happen in Wales. 

“The Welsh Government has a good working relationship with staff and they have invested in the service. That’s why I’ll be voting Labour – to protect our health service from the Tories. 

The Tories have said they will make £1bn of cuts a year to the £7bn health and social services budget – equivalent to 14% or almost the entire Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board budget.

Dr Emma Short, a pathologist at the University Hospital of Wales, in Cardiff, said: “I work in Wales’ busiest hospital. I know how many people rely on the NHS every day in Wales.

“The NHS needs ongoing investment in our staff and in our services, just as Welsh Labour has done and will continue to do.

“A £1bn cut to the NHS budget, which the Tories want to make, will have a direct and devastating impact on patient care.”

Doctors also sent a stark message to Plaid Cymru – the NHS does not need a chaotic top-down re-organisation which will strip local communities of the power to make decisions about their local health service.

Plaid has pledged to dismantle the NHS by giving local authorities control of GP and community-based health services. All hospital services in Wales will be run by a single government department in Cardiff.

Dr Paul Mizen, a consultant physician at the Royal Gwent Hospital, in Newport, said: “The NHS has benefitted from investment and we haven’t had a disruptive reorganisation but all that could change under Plaid Cymru who will break up the NHS as we know it.

“I know that having a Welsh Labour Government has made a positive difference to the NHS in Wales.”

Vaughan Gething said: “Welsh Labour will protect the NHS from a disruptive and distracting top-down re-organisation and we will continue to invest in our health and social services – we won’t cut £1bn from the frontline.

“We are committed to driving up quality and improving outcomes for patients. We will stand up for the NHS

Brian Eadon, a pharmacist at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, added: “I get very upset when tell me the organisation I love is broken and not working – there are thousands upon thousands of healthcare workers who every day deliver a service, which improves the health of people and saves people’s lives. 

“The Labour party in Wales invented the NHS and I believe the Labour party will keep the NHS safe – other parties will threaten the free NHS service we receive.”

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