Defence Secretary warns he might not help Welsh health service again in future
The UK Government’s Defence Secretary has warned that he might not help the Welsh NHS again in the future.
Tory MP Ben Wallace, has recently made 98 personnel from the British Army available to support the Covid-19 vaccine booster programme in Wales.
But he said it was only there as a “last resort” and suggested that military might not necessarily assist in the future if he received a request from the Welsh Government to do so.
Wallace told Spectator TV: “If you are the Scottish first minister with a significant funding for your health service or the education service, or the Welsh first minister or indeed some of my colleagues in Whitehall, then it is not our job if you can’t run your health service in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon.
“It is our job to be there as the last resort wherever you are in the United Kingdom. But fundamentally, when we are not in a national crisis or a pandemic, we’ll always be there to help. But fundamentally we are there to do our defence task protecting the nation.”
Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said: “It is critical that as many people as possible receive the vaccine in our fight against Covid-19 and I’m hugely grateful to the UK’s Armed Forces for supporting this effort in Wales as well as continuing to support the work of the Welsh Ambulance Service.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the military has stepped up to support health services across Wales with the distribution of PPE, construction of a temporary hospital in Cardiff and assisting community testing in the South Wales valleys, demonstrating the UK Government’s commitment to meet the needs of the whole of the United Kingdom.”