Paul Davies MS – the Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Welsh Parliament – questioned the First Minister today (October 6) over waiting times for routine surgery in Wales.
Mr Davies was speaking after reports today that the list of people waiting for routine surgery in Wales is nearly six times longer than a year ago, with one orthopaedic surgeon warning that waiting times for knee and hip replacements could be three years.
He asked what action is being taken in response to these warnings, to help speed up treatment for people across Wales, and what is being done to accelerate the development of “green zones” in hospitals.
Responding, the First Minister said that delays are “… inevitable… inescapable… [there is] no escaping longer waiting times”.
Mr Davies, speaking later, acknowledging the difficulties faced by all hospitals during these lockdowns, said: “We are in a second pandemic, a pandemic of delayed diagnoses and postponed operations, which will cost lives. Also, for the conditions that are not life-threatening, such as hip operations, people have been suffering for months. The First Minister’s response today will have done little to reassure people in Wales kept waiting for treatment.
“We Welsh Conservatives continue our call for the First Minister, his Health Minister, and the Labour party to get a grip of the situation – and now.
“The Welsh Labour-led Government must look at demand and capacity planning across the seven health boards to identify potential Covid-light hospitals and their capacities, and pathways to treatment within them to clear this backlog and reduce the pain and anxiety so many people here are enduring.”