The Rhondda AM will call upon the Labour Government to show leadership to save the A&E department at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital.
Leanne Wood AM will tell the Senedd that the issue could be solved overnight if the Labour Government deletes the section of the South Wales Programme that recommends the centralisation of consultant-led A&E services at two sites; Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr and the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend.
Leanne will make the calls during a debate on the future of A&E provision within Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board. Senior health board members, backed by Labour Government Ministers, have proposed reducing consultant services at the Royal Glamorgan in response to what they have called a “recruitment crisis.”
Figures seen by Plaid Cymru have shown that until recently the health board has failed to advertise for any permanent Royal Glamorgan A&E consultants since it came into existence in April of last year.
Leanne will also make the point that axing A&E beds would be “unwise” in the face of the impending coronavirus outbreak.
Leanne said: “The Labour Government is responsible for the NHS in Wales. They are tasked with setting the organisation’s strategic direction. This is a matter that is entirely in their hands.
“It is undeniable that there are not enough A&E consultants in the UK. However, when no advertising takes place, effectively a ‘soon-to-be closed’ sign is over the front door of the A&E department and the task becomes virtually impossible.
“The Labour Government have no reason not to intervene now. Their claim that the proposals were clinically-led have been disproven by the open backing from doctors and nurses for the retention of a fully functioning A&E at the Royal Glamorgan.”
Ms Wood added: “It would also be unwise to look to reduce hospital capacity when we could be facing a vast public health problem with the spread of coronavirus. If this virus takes hold, as it has done not too far away in Italy, every single critical care bed and staff member in Wales will be needed.
“If the First Minister and Health Minister are not prepared to take on the responsibility that comes with the power when in government, they should step aside.”
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