Health Minister challenged over North Wales hospital waiting times

Clwyd West Assembly Member and Acting Welsh Conservative Health Spokesperson, Darren Millar AM, has hit out at the long hospital waiting times in North Wales and urged the Health Minister to take action to address them.

Speaking in the Senedd on Wednesday, Darren said “too many people are waiting too long for treatment in North Wales”, referring principally to orthopaedic waiting lists, and called on the Health Minister Vaughan Gething AM to sign off the orthopaedic waiting time plan so that patients can get access to the treatment they need within the waiting time target.

 Darren, who earlier this week warned that waiting times are only going to get worse in North Wales hospitals unless the current funding dispute with the Countess of Chester Hospital is resolved, said:

“People on orthopaedic waiting lists are currently waiting two years in my constituency order to get access to their treatment; it’s unacceptable.

“You clawed back £1 million from the health board this year because of its failure to hit your waiting time targets and £3 million was clawed back last year for the same reason.

“The ongoing dispute with the Countess of Chester Hospital, which took a significant number of referrals from north-east Wales, is going to make waiting times even longer.

“When will you wake up, make sure that the Countess of Chester Hospital gets the funding it needs to provide care for the Welsh patients who need it so that we can get these waiting times down, and when will you sign off the orthopaedic waiting time plan, which has been sat on your desk for 18 months, so that patients whose lives are on hold can get their lives back?”