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9,000 patients waiting over 36 weeks for treatment is a national disgrace – Kirsty Williams

July 11, 2013 11:14 AM

Kirsty Williams indoor portrait July 2011 (Kirsty Williams)Figures released today show that nearly 9,000 patients had been waiting for more than 36 weeks until the start of their NHS treatment, an increase of around 1,300 when compared to the previous month. The Welsh Government's target is that not a single person should wait longer than 36 weeks.

Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, Kirsty Williams, commented:

"The figures released today showing the number of people waiting for treatment in the Welsh NHS are a national disgrace.

"I cannot believe that the Welsh Labour Government has allowed this situation to get from bad to atrocious. When I question the First Minister on the deepening crises in our health service, his answer is always 'things are improving'. I've heard of burying your head in the sand, but this is beyond a joke.

"Waiting for the start of treatment is a very stressful time for any patient. Reducing these long waiting periods has to be an important priority for this Welsh Labour government.

"Whether it is ambulances, A&E waiting times or cancer waiting times, targets in Wales are being consistently missed.  If the targets were just narrowly missed, that would be an encouraging sign that things are getting better however they are not. These figures show that we are close to crisis point. The fact is that the Welsh Labour Government has catastrophically mismanaged our NHS and it is the people of Wales that is paying the price for Labour's failure."