Sunday, 25 October 2015

Welsh NHS to be main Battleground in May.

This years Assembly election is likely to see the NHS easily become the main campaign issue

Both Plaid and the Tories have already indicated this and  no doubt the other Opposition Parties will follow suit.

Plaid may have an advantage over the Tories in that they can point to the mess of the NHS over the border even using quotes from one oft the Tories Welsh MPs Glyn Davies . 

Plaids made the NHS one of the main focuses of their conference, and yesterday renewed their attacks on the Assembly Government over its record on the NHS.

The party’s health spokeswoman, Elin Jones , also unveiled a package of six key pledges which she promised to implement should Plaid form the administration following next May’s election.

Ceredigion AM Ms Jones outlined a six-point plan for the NHS included vows to:
  • Cut waiting times for diagnosis and treatment;
  • Improve access to mental health;
  • Create a paperless NHS;
  • Tackle the public health threats of today;
  • Train a next generation of NHS workers;
  • Fully integrate health and social care and deliver equal care for equal need.
She reaffirmed pledges unveiled by party leader Leanne Wood on Friday, including the promise to pay for 1,000 extra doctors in the next decade and three new Welsh diagnostic centres as well as a vow to keep maternity services in North Wales open.

Ms Jones also confirmed Plaid’s support for what she termed a “pop tax” on sugary drinks  a measure first raised by Leanne Wood that was first derided by many commentators but now has many prominent  backers by Public Health England.

She underlined Plaid’s commitment to scrap Wales’ health boards and create one national hospital board – and promised to create “a modern, paperless NHS”, which would include doctors’ clinics via Skype.
“It can’t be right that I can book a hotel room in Buenos Aires on my smart phone from this stage in Aberystwyth right now, but I can’t use my smartphone to book an appointment or repeat prescription from my surgery just down the road,”
Actually this is already happening  in my Doctors surgery it needs improving and needs to be spread throughout Wales but in theory i can do that now.

During her speech Ms Jones insisted Plaid’s plans were “fully costed” and would provide “equal care for equal need”.

But Labour has accused Plaid of being in chaos over their health spending plans, saying they had been unable to explain how they would pay for their proposals.

Maybe they are right  but I suspect unless Labour intend to fight May election on the the Status Quo they are going to have to come up with imaginative Ideas for the Welsh NHS and   come up with their own “fully costed”manifesto.

The other Parties will follow suit and Parties that have no chance of winning could come up with totally impossible expenditure plans.

Whatever it is likely we will have to see the  NHS be the main area of combat for Assembly  Election after Assembly Election no matter who wins.

I can only ask is this god Welsh Democracy and is it not time we started it on moving Welsh Devolution forward.

The danger of constantly fighting on the NHS could well see Welsh devolution into reverse as Westminster claims we can't handle it.

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