Article dated 7th January 2015. Commenting on the Prime Minister’s attack today on the Welsh NHS, Owen Smith MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, said:“It says it all about this Prime Minister that instead of trying to fix the crisis in the English NHS, he runs to the media studios to attack Wales.
“The reality is, in England at least 14 NHS hospitals have declared ‘major incidents’ protocol to try and handle the crisis, yet despite winter pressure on the NHS in Wales not one Welsh hospital has had to take these steps.
“The Prime Minister describing the Welsh border as a “line between life and death” was always a scurrilous remark, but defending and repeating it, as he has today, is doubly offensive.
The vast majority of Welsh patients know that Mr Cameron’s ludicrous statement bears no relationship to the reality of the excellent treatment most receive in Wales – as in England. And they also know that this war on Wales has been contrived to distract attention from the chaos caused in England by Tory privatisation and the cuts to social services.
“Labour warned that those cuts would result in record levels of bed blocking in English hospitals and we have, unfortunately, been proved right. In Wales, by contrast, we didn’t cut social care budgets and thus we have seen record low levels of bed blocking here.
“Finally, it doesn’t say much about the influence of the Tory Secretary of State for Wales that just two weeks after he announced he’d told his Cabinet colleagues to ceasefire in the war on Wales, his Prime Minister launches yet another assault this morning.”