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Welsh Conservatives publish new health manifesto offering detailed blueprint for NHS transformation

The Welsh Conservatives have published (can be accessed here) a detailed blueprint for transforming the Welsh NHS, if elected to government in May.

The publication of the health manifesto – the party’s most comprehensive plan for change yet – is underpinned by a commitment to protect the health budget and a guarantee to increase health spending year-on-year. Welsh Conservatives are the only party to have published a separate manifesto for health.

Last month, a BBC poll suggested that ‘health’ was the single most important issue for voters. Under Labour, £1billion has been pulled from front-line health services while 1-in-7 of the population now languish on a waiting list.

The manifesto sets out the Welsh Conservatives’ vision for a Welsh NHS that’s better-resourced, more accountable to patients, and delivers better results for patients.

Speaking ahead of the manifesto’s launch in North Wales, Welsh Conservative health spokesman and Assembly Member candidate for Clwyd West, Darren Millar, said:

“People across Wales have told us time and time again that our health services are their number one priority.

“Our NHS impacts upon each and every one of us and our loved ones, and touches us at every stage of our lives.

“Yet health services here in Wales - despite the dedicated efforts of hardworking frontline staff - are not always reaching their full potential under Labour.

“Targets are routinely missed, cancer patients are being denied life-saving drugs and funding is not always spent effectively.

“Labour, propped up by Plaid Cymru and the Lib Dems, have starved the health budget of one billion pounds in recent years, making Wales the only UK nation to see health spending decline since 2010.

“Put simply, the state of the NHS in Wales shows that Labour are not up to the job and that the time has come to secure real change.

“Our health manifesto demonstrates in detail our plans to transform the Welsh NHS and secure the real change our health service so desperately needs.

“It offers solutions to a range of issues from public health and tackling Wales’ biggest diseases to improving the recruitment of doctors and stamping out waste and inefficiency.”

Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies, said:

“Our National Health Service is there for us throughout our lives: from the day we are born, to our final days.

“But under Labour the NHS is being badly let down by poor management and devastating cuts, with patients left to deal with the very real and often painful consequences.

“The Welsh Conservative health manifesto is, I believe, Wales’ best chance for securing real change for our health service which has for many years now been teetering on the brink of collapse under a weight of budget constraints, mismanagement and unaccountability.

“May 5th presents the people of Wales a chance to rescue their most treasured service from a state of permanent crisis by placing it under a competent leadership, which only a vote for Welsh Conservatives can achieve.”

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Below are some of the pledges made in the health manifesto. A Welsh Conservative government will:

  • Tackle waste and inefficiency though a Wales-wide NHS Efficiency Task Force.
  • Establish a £100 million Health Transformation Fund to support the modernisation of the Welsh NHS and make it fit for the 21st Century.
  • Extending patient choice
  • Establishing directly elected Health Commissioners for each health board.
  • Introduce a charge for prescriptions for those who can afford it, subject to exemptions.
  • Limit payoffs to senior NHS managers.
  • Establish an independent NHS Performance Unit with responsibility for setting sensible targets which command widespread support from patients and clinicians.
  • Commission an independent inquiry into the NHS in Wales to identify poor standards and bring forward recommendations to address them.
  • Establish a ‘scores on the doors’ system.
  • Invest an additional £10 million annually in the Welsh Ambulance Service.
  • Implement specialist plans to guarantee improved outcomes in the fight against Wales’ four biggest killers: cancer, heart disease, dementia and stroke.
  • Ensure that mental health crisis teams are available 24/7 at all major emergency departments.
  • Support innovation in healthcare by providing £50 million in match-funding for research into new treatments and cures.