Plaid Cymru health policy launched in Aberystwyth

plaid health policy launchPLAID Cymru launched their new healthy policy for the General Election in Aberystwyth on Monday [26th]. The new policy was announced at a press conference in Pantycelyn by Leanne Woods AM, leader of Plaid Cymru; Mike Parker, parliamentary candidate for Ceredigion; Hywel Williams MP for Arfon; and Elin Jones, AM for Ceredigion and Shadow Health Minister.

The new health policy plans to recruit a thousand new doctors to the Welsh NHS, to fully integrate health and social care services, to invest in more ambulances, nurses and paramedics, and to oppose TTIP; the new EU trade agreement which has been blamed for increasing privitisation of the NHS.

Wales has almost 50% less doctors per head than Scotland, amounting to a lower spend per head in Wales than Scotland totalling £1.2 billion. As such, shortage of doctors has become a critical issue and indeed, in parts of the south Wales valleys up to 50% of GPs are due to retire in the next decade. Financial incentives including paying off part of student loans in order to incentivise doctors to move to rural areas such as Aberystwyth, which have proved hard to recruit for. The policy further claims that it will make savings from integrating health and social care services which can be reinvested into patient services.

Leanne Woods stated that:

“The NHS in Wales is struggling because of poor management and inadequate funding. A publically run health service for the people is a vital part of public services and we will do whatever we can to protect that for the people of Wales.”

A review of out-of-hours services and opposing the removal of A&E from local hospitals are part of Plaid’s policy to combat the overstretched the emergency care system. Plaid Cymru also state that they oppose TTIP and any agreement which could lead to NHS privitisation.

Hywel Williams said:

“Our plans will increase capacity, bring down waiting times, and improve patient flow through hospital and beyond. The Party of Wales will save and strengthen the services that we all depend on, and restore the reputation of the NHS in Wales.”