WALES’ First Minister Mark Drakeford has failed to confirm how the Welsh government will secure additional critical care beds if the Coronavirus outbreak reaches the worst case scenario in Wales. That is the claim of the leader of Plaid Cymru, Adam Price.
The Plaid Cymru Leader said the lack of assurances from the First Minister was a cause of “genuine concern”.
Hospitals in Wales have been operating above the ‘safe’ level of 85% occupancy in general for almost a decade.
Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price said that “even under normal circumstances” the Welsh NHS doesn’t have enough “critical care capacity” and that COVID-19 was putting “further pressures” on the health system.
Mr Price said the First Minister’s inability to explain how the Welsh Government would secure additional critical care beds if the “worst” of the virus came to pass was “a cause of genuine concern”.
Mr Drakeford said “a realistic worst-case scenario” would be one in which “80 per cent of the population” contracted coronavirus and “25 per cent of the population” required significant medical intervention.
The Plaid Cymru leader said that Mr Drakeford should be “leading the way, not simply describing the problem”. He added that Wales should be planning now by training more staff to “increase resource” and set up temporary critical care units to “increase capacity”.
Mr Price said Wales should “take the lead” by planning ahead rather than waiting on the UK Government or “waiting for the worst to happen”.
Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price said,
“Even under ‘normal’ circumstances, the Welsh NHS doesn’t have enough critical care capacity but the Coronavirus is putting further pressures on our health system.
“The First Minister admitted himself that we could find ourselves in a worst case scenario where 80 per cent of the population contract the virus and 25 per cent need significant medical care.
“It is therefore a cause of genuine concern that the First Minister couldn’t tell me how his government would secure additional critical care beds if the worst comes to pass.
“As First Minister, he should be leading the way, not simply describing the problem.
“We need to plan now in preparation for the worst whilst of course hoping for the best. We need to get more staff trained now to increase resource. We need to convert units into temporary critical care units now to increase capacity should we need it.
“Let’s show that Wales can take the lead rather than waiting on the UK Government to act.