PLAID Cymru has launched a scathing attack on Labour after figures showed the worst A&E waiting times yet for January.
The number of patients spending more than 12 hours in A&E in Wales was the highest on record again in January.
6,882 patients in total faced long waits which was 226 more than in December.
The Welsh Government’s targets say that no patient should be waiting more than 12 hours.
The figures also show that 83.5% of patients were waiting less than six months to start hospital treatment – the lowest proportion since December 2015 and lower than the 95% target.
Plaid Cymru AM and shadow minister for health Rhun ap Iorwerth said that patients and staff were ‘paying the price’ of Labour mismanagement.
Paying tribute to the ‘heroic work’ by frontline NHS staff, Mr ap Iorwerth said the latest figures were ‘a scandal’ and that poor performance was down to the NHS being ‘poorly managed and poorly planned’ by Labour.
Mr ap Iorwerth said that Plaid Cymru would invest in preventative services and would ‘transform’ the NHS for the future. He added that the party when in government would ‘improve workforce planning and work conditions’ and would bring back community hospitals and NHS beds.
The shadow minister said that ‘things had to change’ and that only a Plaid Cymru government could bring about that change.
Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for Health, Rhun ap Iorwerth AM said,
“Month by month the figures for A&E waiting times keep getting worse and it’s patients and staff who pay the price.
“I pay tribute to the heroic work done by frontline NHS staff under increasingly difficult circumstances and shocking mismanagement from Labour.
“These latest figures are a scandal. A&E waiting times are at their worst ever. . Doctor numbers are low compared with most of Europe. Targets have been dropped or missed.
“Poor performance can’t be blamed on under-funding alone. Spending per head on the NHS is above most English regions, and several Scottish regions. The simple truth is that our NHS is being poorly managed and poorly planned – and the responsibility lies at Labour’s door.
“Meanwhile, we can’t trust the Tories whilst they cut and wreck the NHS in England and flirt with its privatisation – to the detriment of patients.
“People deserve better. Plaid Cymru will invest in services to prevent ill health from taking place in the first place, transforming the NHS for the future. We’ll improve workforce planning and work conditions to help recruitment and retention of NHS and social care staff. And we’ll bring back Community Hospitals and NHS beds.
“Things can’t do on like this. Things have to change. It’s only a Plaid Cymru government that can bring that change.