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Plaid Cymru hits out at Vaughan Gething over NHS pledges

05 Jan 2024 3 minute read
Vaughan Gething during a Welsh Government Covid briefing.

Emily Price

Plaid Cymru has hit out at Welsh Labour leader candidate Vaughan Gething over promises he has made about the NHS should he be successful in replacing Mark Drakeford as First Minister.

Later today (January 5) Mr Gething will announce what is being described as his ‘Welsh NHS Covenant’ at an event to be attended by his fellow party members.

He is expected to pledge that under his leadership the NHS in Wales will never be sold off.

Mr Gething, a former health minister, will also guarantee that per head spend on health and social care in Wales will never fall below that of England.

He says he also commit to publishing a new partnership agreement with the service, patients, unions and local government to meet the challenges across health and social care.

Mabon ap Gwynfor, Plaid Cymru’s Health and Social Care spokesperson has hit out at the pledges and accused the former health minister of being “personally responsible” for a lack of action regarding the NHS in Wales.

Speaking to Nation.Cymru, Mr ap Gwynfor said that a minister who was in charge of health in Wales for five years should be pledging a Wales specific Covid inquiry.

Mr Gething, now Wales’ economy minister was health minister during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In July, he was grilled at the UK Covid Inquiry and subsequently criticised for saying he had not read a key document looking at how ready the UK government was for a pandemic.

“Vague vision”

Mr ap Gwynfor said: “It is surreal to see Vaughan Gething, a First Minister candidate, and a former minister for health in Wales for 5 years, now setting out his vision for health.

“If his record as health minister is anything to go by, or even his recently published vague vision for the economy, we can’t expect much.

“If he wants any credibility as he sets out his vision today, he should firstly set out a plan for a Wales-specific Covid inquiry. He was the minister in charge in the run up to the pandemic, and for its first year.

“If he is willing to put the decisions that he made at this crucial time in our health service up for scrutiny, it would put him on the path to credibility.


He added: “Secondly, he will need to outline a credible programme for retention of the current workforce and recruitment of more staff, which includes improved pay offers and more importantly better contracts and working conditions.

“And thirdly he needs to address the social care crisis and set out a plan for recruitment into the sector and how he plans to support carers.

“These plans must undo the lack of action that he personally is responsible for as Minister.

“In Plaid Cymru, we sincerely hope that Labour sets out a bold and workable plan for our NHS – Plaid Cymru has done this already.

“The health of our nation depends on this, and urgent action is needed to help reverse the crisis in the NHS.”

Vaughan Gething was invited to comment.

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6 months ago

Plaid is as bad every thing Labour as put through the senedd they have voted with Labour to get it passed.

Rhddwen y Sais
6 months ago

I would love to know Plaid’s plan to make Wales self sufficient in terms of care for the sick. Yesterday there was an article in Nation Cymru about English hospitals catering for Welsh patients. What are Plaid’s plans to ensure that Wales has a fully functional international airport so we don’t have to use overcrowded airports the other side of the clawdd. As an independent sovereign state we would need such facilities.

Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda
6 months ago
Reply to  Rhddwen y Sais

Regardless of what Plaid’s plans would be, they’d be better than 13 years worth of austerity from your Tory pals.

Rhddwen y Sais
6 months ago
Reply to  Cwm Rhondda

That’s a total cop out because of a lack of policies and by the way I am not Tory. All Plaid does in slam the policies of other parties.

6 months ago

Whatever happens to the NHS is Cymru is partially dependent on funding from Westminster. Vaughan Gethin (the perennial unionist cap doffer) will have to wait and see what crumbs his Westminster masters will offer us.

Rhddwen y Sais
6 months ago
Reply to  Brian

Our funding is more generous per person than England. Until we are able recognise that fact and not blame everyone else progress cannot be made.

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