Health Minister acknowledges Welsh Government ‘can do more’ to support the NHS in Wales
The Welsh Health Minister has acknowledged that the Welsh Government ‘can do more’ to support the NHS in Wales.
Eluned Morgan told S4C’s Y Byd yn ei Le programme that there’s “always more” a government can do.
Asked whether Welsh Labour had missed opportunities during it’s 23 year in power to put the NHS in a better place to deal with this winter’s crisis, Eluned Morgan said: “Let’s be clear, there’s always more a government can do, always more. We have an elderly population, so of course we can do more, there’s always room to do more.
“But I think it’s important people understand that there is a challenge here. For example, when Aneurin Bevan created the NHS in 1948, people worked until they were 65 and died when they were 68.
“That was the reality. By today, the success of the NHS has also created a problem for the NHS because now, people live so long and have such complex problems, perhaps we as a society haven’t accepted how much more we need to pay for that gap.”
Ms Morgan’s comments came after talks with NHS workers on Thursday failed to reach an deal to resolve the current wave of industrial action.
Unions representing nurses and ambulance staff said they are set to continue striking after rejecting the offer of a one-off payment for its workers.
A number of health unions took part in talks with government representatives, including the health minister, on Thursday to see if they could end the dispute over pay.
"Wrth gwrs gallen ni wneud mwy. Ma' wastad lle i wneud mwy!"
Eluned Morgan yn cydnabod bod mwy y gall y Llywodraeth wneud i daclo heriau'r Gwasanaeth Iechyd heddiw.
— Y Byd yn ei Le (@ybydyneileS4C) January 12, 2023
Ms Morgan set out her plan to give health workers a lump sum, but union bosses said the cash payment was “not enough” to address real problems caused by sub-inflation wages.
Last year, the Welsh Government gave NHS staff a pay rise of between 4% and 5.5%.
Health unions have said this year they want an inflation busting pay award of around 19%.
First Minister Mark Drakeford has said his government is not in a position to offer more money unless it received further funding from the UK Government.
There are currently no more nurses strikes planned in Wales, however ambulance staff who are members of Unite, will walk out on January 19 and 23 for 24 hours.
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