“There seems to be some confusion, denial, or just a slopey-shouldered attitude to Wales NHS in Welsh Labour,” began Andrew RT Davies AM/AC, commenting on a social media spat that saw Dawn Bowden AM/AC, the Welsh Labour Member for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, publicly correcting people on Twitter over who has responsibility for our NHS.
It began when the MP for Pontypridd, Alex Davies-Jones, took to Twitter to add her voice to the campaign to reverse the downgrade – because of a lack of available doctors – of A & E provision at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital (RGH).
This is further example of the crisis facing Wales NHS this winter that has seen operations cancelled for days on end at other hospitals, with targets unmet for years on end, and record waiting times month after month.
Another Twitter user asked: “Isn’t our NHS run by the [Welsh] Labour Party? So it’s a Labour MP campaigning against a Labour decision. Is that right?”
Dawn Bowden, bizarrely, replied: “No, it’s funded by the Welsh Labour Government, it’s managed by people who are paid to do so.”
Mr Davies, whose constituency includes RGH, said:
“I was not surprised to read Dawn Bowden’s public denial of just who manages our NHS. Looking at the appalling state it is in after 20 years’ ‘management’ by Welsh Labour, her wish to wash her and her party’s hands of it is almost understandable.”
“Let’s be absolutely clear: the Welsh Labour Government receives a block grant under the Barnett Formula to spend on healthcare provision, a grant some £40 more per person than in England. How it is spent is down to the government of the day, and clearly, it’s not spending it wisely.
“It’s the old story, that Labour loves, of taking the credit when things are going well – which we Welsh Conservatives are still waiting to see – and blame others when things go badly, which they are.
“At any time, the Health Minister could stop this, so Welsh Labour AMs and MPs need to stop shroud-waving and instead have a quiet word with their man on point in the Labour Welsh Government!”
Welsh Conservatives are encouraging people to take part in the Big Welsh NHS Survey. To have your voice heard, visit nhssurvey.wales to complete it.