The Chief Executive of NHS Wales has admitted the health service is facing its “most challenging period” since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr Andrew Goodall was also unable to defend the disparity between the waiting time for NHS treatment with England, where it is five times less likely a patient will have to wait over a year for operation than in Wales, stating more must be done to improve access to care.
Commenting, Welsh Conservative and Shadow Health Minister Russell George MS said:
“Although it is always a pleasure to hear more about Wales on UK-wide news outlets, it is a shame it is again in the context of the Welsh NHS’s leader admitting its experiencing its most challenging period.
“NHS Wales is right to say it is facing its most challenging time – we can see this in its worst-ever A&E waiting times, longest ever waiting list, and second slowest ambulance response times.
“The Labour Government has been responsible for running our Welsh NHS for quarter of a century and it is down to their mismanagement that we are seeing these problems now – do not forget that the NHS backlog doubled just a year before the pandemic hit, and now it’s out of control with one-in-five people in Wales waiting for treatment.
“Hopefully, Dr Goodall’s admission will mean his expertise in health will be better listened to when he becomes the Welsh Government’s permanent secretary in a few months’ time.”