Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, has launched a blistering attack on the Welsh Labour Government's refusal to acknowledge the scale of the problems that face the NHS in Wales.
This follows an interview by Welsh Labour MP Ann Clwyd, who is currently conducting a review of the NHS complaints system in England. Ms Clwyd said: "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."
She added: "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."
Kirsty Williams said:
"The Welsh Labour Government refuses to face the facts. They ignore the damning statistics that show how bad things are and they refuse to listen to patients' concerns. As they won't listen to anyone else, maybe it is time they started listening to politicians from their own party.
"The key problem, I'm pleased Ann Clwyd has highlighted, is the Welsh Labour Government's failure to admit there are problems in Wales' NHS. Their stubbornness is getting in the way of progress. Things won't improve until the Welsh Labour Government acknowledges the sheer scale of the problems our NHS faces.
"The contrast between how the Coalition Government and the Welsh Labour Government have responded to concerns couldn't be starker. In England, Ms Clwyd raised the subject of the dire treatment her husband had received in a Welsh hospital, a hospital that the Welsh Labour Government is responsible for. In response, the Coalition Government commissioned a review into the NHS complaints system in England. Yet what have the Welsh Labour Government done? Nothing. Their inaction has been shameful.
"It is time the Welsh Labour Government stopped hiding from the problems they have created. Welsh Labour's poverty of ambition for Wales has led to a decline in standards in our NHS."