Plaid Cymru’s plans to increase the number of doctors per head will strengthen hospital services In Wales and bring A&E services out of critical condition, Plaid Cymru’s Leader Leanne Wood has said.
The Rhondda-based Ms Wood was commenting following concerns raised by Dr Robin Roop, head of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine in Wales (RCEM) that A&E services in Wales are “on the edge” with some patients were waiting more than 24 hours in A&E.
The RCEM identified a lack of doctors and a bureaucratic turf war between health and social care services as main problems in the service.
Ms Wood, who lives in Penygraig, said that the Party of Wales’ plans to train and recruit a thousand extra doctors and to fully integrate health and social care were key to strengthening hospital services.
Ms Wood said:
“We know from correspondence with NHS workers and speaking to constituents that hospital services in Wales are struggling.
“I have great sympathy for the staff who work daily under these difficult conditions – they tell us that it is becoming more and more difficult. The RCEM identifies two main problems as the cause of these pressures - a lack of doctors and the delays of transferring patients from the health service to social care services.
“These are not new problems, but they are problems that the Labour government in Wales has consistently failed to tackle over the last 16 years they have been in charge of health. It’s no surprise that the professionals are concerned.
“Plaid Cymru has set out our plans to increase capacity in the health service and bring down waiting times. Our plans to train and recruit a thousand extra doctors will reverse Wales’ bottom-league status – currently only Slovenia, Romania and Poland have more doctors per head of the population than Wales. We want to push Wales up the rankings – it is only what patients and overworked staff deserve.
“Our plans to fully integrate health and social care services will bring down waiting times. By creating one, streamlined system, we can help doctors and medical professionals move patients out of hospital and into social care as quickly as possible.
“Plaid Cymru is the only political party putting forward the positive policies to deliver the change that our health service needs.”
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