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Cancer delays 'could cause 2,000 deaths in Wales'

Responding to the news as many as 2,000 people could die because of Covid-related delays in the Welsh NHS, and the comments made by Labour’s Health Minister, Welsh Conservative health spokesperson Andrew RT Davies MS said:

“Vaughan Gething is the minister for health in Wales, not just Coronavirus, and instead of organising a system to cope, he’s given up and admitted he’s putting one condition over others. That’s a national scandal that puts thousands of lives at risk. 

“Leading cancer experts are warning of as many as 2,000 deaths due to Covid-related delays, yet the Health Minister believes it’s ‘foolish’ to have a plan for backlogs before the pandemic is over.

“I’m sorry, but it’s his job to have a plan in place to tackle a wide variety of conditions, not just throw his hands up in the air.

“Lives are now dependent on him putting a plan in place and this should start by commissioning an urgent inquiry into hospital-acquired infections, targeted testing at the hot-spot areas in our healthcare system, the roll-out of rapid diagnostic centres across Wales, whilst activating Covid-light hospitals and Nightingale facilities. 

“Welsh Conservatives have been calling for the implementation of these measures since the summer as we believe the cure cannot be worse than the disease. The Health Minister must get on top of this situation immediately.”

 

1. The media report on cancer delays: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-54808693 

2. Vaughan Gething’s comments: “Because of the choices we've made, it's undoubtedly the case we'll see poor outcomes and that does mean more people having avoidable disability, more people potentially losing their lives with non-Covid care. Not acting would have meant that not only would the health service have been overwhelmed with very poor care of Covid and non-Covid patients, but it also would have been disastrous for our staff. We need to get to the end of the pandemic with more certainty. We don't yet know what will happen through the rest of the winter. To try to have a nailed-down plan for what June might look like next year would be foolish."