The Welsh Government appears reluctant to admit there are serious deficiencies in the National Health Service in Wales, according to MP, Ann Clwyd.
The Labour Member of Parliament for the Cynon Valley is the first guest of presenter and Llangefni-born barrister, Gwion Lewis in a new series Siarad o Brofiad (Speaking from Experience) which starts tonight at 9.30pm on S4C.
Ann Clwyd has already called for an independent public inquiry into the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff after a report by consultant surgeons suggested a dangerous situation where patients were dying regularly while awaiting operations.
Following her husband, Owen Roberts’ death last October, Ann Clwyd was critical of the treatment he received at the hospital. Since then, she has been appointed to conduct a review of the National Health Service in England. Since making her public stand about the health service, Ann Clwyd has received about 2,500 letters and emails from people concerned about their parents or other relatives’ treatments – 20% of the communications coming from Wales.
According to statistics obtained by Ann Clwyd herself through the library at the House of Commons, the National Health Service in Wales is in a worse situation than the NHS in England. “I asked for a comparison between Wales and England and the diagnostics for the two countries and Wales is behind England in every instance. It appears that things are very bad.”
Replying to a suggestion by Gwion Lewis that the Welsh Government gave the impression that there wasn’t much of a problem in the health service in Wales, Ann Clwyd suggested that the Welsh Government appeared reluctant to admit the situation was serious. “I don’t want to judge but, at the same time, there are deficiencies in the National Health Service in Wales and those deficiencies must be acknowledged and they must be faced.
“I wouldn’t have spoken out as I have done on this were it not for the fact that people don’t seem willing to admit there are problems in Wales and yet the messages I’ve had from all over Wales make it perfectly plain that there are problems here.”
In the programme, Ann Clwyd also discusses other stands she’s made on human rights issues, including the plight of Kurds who suffered under Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, the case of American soldier, Bradley Manning from Pembrokeshire who released military secrets to Wikileaks and the dispute over Syria.