Aneurin Bevan would be turning in his grave at state of Welsh NHS, Tory MP says
Aneurin Bevan, the Labour former health minister who oversaw the foundation of the NHS, would be “turning in his grave” at how his party has run the health service in Wales, Tory MP Alun Cairns has said.
The Conservative former Welsh secretary compared the high number of patients in Wales waiting longer than 18 months for an operation with those waiting in England, as he made the claim at Prime Minister’s Questions.
Mr Cairns, MP for the Vale of Glamorgan, told the Commons: “For 27 years, constituents across the Vale of Glamorgan and across the whole of Wales sadly have to wait longer to see a doctor, longer for an ambulance, longer at A&E and longer for an operation than patients in England.
“There are 24,785 patients in Wales waiting longer than two years for an operation. That number in England is 227. Does the Prime Minister agree that Aneurin Bevan will be turning in his grave on the fact that you can’t trust Labour with the NHS?”
Rishi Sunak replied: “He is absolutely right. Whereas here in England we have a plan when it comes to education, where we are marching up the league tables and we have virtually eliminated those waiting the longest amount of time, but in Labour-run Wales, as he said, education rates are falling and waiting lists over 18 months are more than 10 times higher than here in England.”
The Prime Minister added: “It is crystal clear we should stick to our plan for a brighter future and not go back to square one with Labour.”
Born and raised in Tredegar, South Wales, Mr Bevan was the Labour MP for Ebbw Vale.
As health minister in prime minister Clement Attlee’s post-Second World War government he oversaw the creation and early years of the NHS.
Ahead of the general election expected later this year, Mr Sunak and his allies have sought to portray the Labour-run Welsh Government’s record over healthcare, which is devolved, as an example of how Sir Keir Starmer would govern the UK.
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