Welsh Tory AM Calls For NHS Changes

Darren Millar AM Has Called For The Welsh NHS To Reform


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

Welsh shadow health minister Darren Millar has called on the nation's government to deal with high waiting times.

Mr Millar claims 400,000 people - around one in seven of the Welsh population - are currently on a delay list for procedures across the NHS.

The assembly member believes this situation is not getting any better and has called for positive action from the Labour administration to tackle the problem.

Mr Millar added: "The number of patients in Wales waiting longer than they should for diagnostic services such as MRI scans and ultrasounds has trebled in the last two years.

"With three out of ten Welsh patients having to wait longer than the eight-week 'operational standard' for procedures such as brain scans or endoscopies - compared to just one in every thousand patients in England - it is scandalous."

To rectify the situation, Mr Millar wants the Welsh Government to use private health services owned by providers like Bupa and Spire Healthcare to plug the gap, as the current capacity level is not sustainable.

The Conservative lawmaker argues that if the Senedd can find money to refurbish offices in the south of Wales, while building a new administrative building in the north, then they can surely find the money to "fund life-changing operations."

While the use of locum doctors was shown to be a problem earlier this week, with Labour figures showing NHS England are using more temporary doctors than in 2009-10, this is also an issue in Wales.

According to Mr Millar, the emergency department at Bridgend's Princess of Wales Hospital spent £1 million on locum doctors in the last 18 months alone - something that not only inflates budgets, but also compromises patient care.

The Welsh Labour government denies it is failing in its management of the NHS and believes its austerity policies will ensure better service for patients in the long-term, as the current deficit is not sustainable.

Expert Opinion
The number of people reported to be on a waiting list for longer than the national guidelines say they should be in Wales is very worrying. It is also believed that many of these are for diagnostic services such as MRI scans and that the figures seem to be getting worse over the past two years.

“At Irwin Mitchell we’ve seen first-hand that delays in diagnosis can have a massive impact on treatment and recovery so it is crucial for future patient safety that these figures are improved.”
Lisa Jordan, Partner