On the day that the Royal College of Surgeons said some patients in Wales are dying waiting for heart operations, it has emerged that the Welsh Labour Government has struck a cardiac care deal with a private hospital in England.
The Health Minister has given the green light to a short-term contract until the end of September 2014 with Spire Hospital in Bristol.
The decision was slipped out on the Welsh Government’s Cabinet Decisions page on its website.
Carwyn Jones’ Welsh Government had previously ruled out any involvement of the private sector in the Welsh NHS.
Darren Millar AM, Shadow Minister for Health and Social Services, said, "This is an admission that there are severe problems in meeting the demand for cardiac services in Wales and that the Royal College of Surgeons is right that patients are dying waiting too long for treatment.
"The Royal College of Surgeons first raised these concerns six months ago and Labour Ministers simply sat on their hands.
"Yet on the very day that the Royal College of Surgeons raises further concerns in the media, the Welsh Labour Government slips out information about a contract with a private hospital in Bristol, despite its previous ideological pledge to keep the independent sector out of the NHS.
"This is the height of cynicism and hypocrisy and shows that this lazy Labour Government has to be shamed into acting in the best interests of patients."