Health minister Vaughan Gething (Labour AM for Cardiff South and Penarth) smiles as he attempts to dismiss sharp questions about the lamentable performance of the NHS in Wales – for which he is responsible – compared with the NHS in England

The Welsh Labour Government’s beleaguered Health Minister Vaughan Gething  has yet again been struggling to defend figures which – for the third year running – show indisputably that the performance of the NHS in Wales under Labour is far worse than in England (where it’s run by the UK Conservative Government).

Yesterday it was revealed that patients in Wales are waiting far longer for the most common operations than are patients in England.

The NHS in Wales is run by the Welsh Labour Government, under its health minister Vaughan Gething (Labour AM for Cardiff South and Penarth) who has signally failed to halt the increase in waiting times –  never mind do anything about reducing them.

HEART BY-PASS SURGERY :Waiting times for heart by-pass surgery in Wales have doubled and risen by 43 days on last year. The wait in Wales is now 79 days –  compared with only 51 days in England.

HIP REPLACEMENT: Any Welsh NHS patient needing a hip replacement operation has to wait two-and-a-half times longer than does a patient in England. The average wait for a hip operation in Wales is 215 days – compared with 82 days in the English NHS.

CATARACT OPERATIONS: Anyone needing a cataract operation in Wales now has to wait for at least 108 days . In England the wait is only  57 days.

HERNIA OPERATIONS:  Hernia patients in Wales have to wait for 114 days for an operation – whereas in England  patients only have to wait for 45 days.

Welsh Labour Government health minister Vaughan Gething (Labour AM for Cardiff South and Penarth) under pressure from the BBC’s Nick Servini last night

Last night Labour Health Minister Vaughan Gething attempted to defend his performance by claiming that   “They have different waiting time standards in England” – a justification which is unlikely to satisfy the thousands of NHS patients in Wales who are waiting for longer for treatment than patients in England.

Nick Servini of the BBC Wales Today programme did not give Health minister Vaughan Gething an easy ride.

As Gething was challenged last night on the figures by Nick Servini of the BBC Wales Today programme he appeared to be  struggling to cope with the questions and grinned intermittently as he was grilled.

Nick Servini asked him  On these figures, people want to know why is it that the English system is so much better at clearing the backlogs [ of waiting patients]  than the Welsh system”.

Gething replied “They have different waiting-time standards in England.”

Servini “Better ones!”

Gething: “They have a different a waiting time standard, always have done and the challenge here is not saying ‘you must do whatever England do’… “

Servini : “I think people WOULD actually”   

Gething “Well I don’t think they would..”

Servini What? They wouldn’t want shorter waiting times?

Gething :I think you have to present the whole picture..” and – dodging Servini’s question –  went on to assert that putting extra resources into reducing waiting times [for hip, heart, hernia and cataract operations] would – as he put it –  “compromise performance in other parts of the Welsh NHS.

Gething then went on to make another highly questionable assertion that people in Wales would not want to have the NHS in Wales run in the way it is in England. He said:  “The way the system is run in England is not something that I think people in the service, or indeed the public, would want to see “. He provided no evidence to back up what many may view as a highly-contentious and less-than-credible claim.

Meanwhile yet another Welsh Labour NHS horror story has emerged . An 80 year old man Mr John Williams has died of heart failure after having to wait almost 24 hours for an ambulance.  Mr Williams had fallen and  hit his head at home in Gowerton, Swansea. His son had to call for an ambulance 4 times before one eventually turned up … the following day.

When Mr Williams arrived at Morriston Hospital he was kept waiting in the ambulance for a further 7 hours before eventually being admitted. He died shortly afterwards.

The Welsh Ambulance Service is to carry out a “full investigation”.

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  1. whatsoccurin says:

    We have seen this before-he seems tetchy and irritated when questioned-needs to get some media training or that nice Mr Drakeford will be First Minister when Carwyn goes!

    • Frank Evans says:

      I thought this as well. Looks like he’s almost going to have a fight when being interviewed.
      He would be a disaster as FM.

      No wonder he gave up the legal profession!!

      • Arthur says:

        The Welsh NHS is a disgrace and this guy resides over it. Failure to meet ones objectives use to result in dismissal but he is hansomely rewarded – like most fall guys. The destruction of the NHS seems to be by design to in order to force privatisation on us all and fleece us further still.

  2. Kevin Mahoney says:

    I’ve lost count of the number of relatives and friends that have had to dip into their meagre savings or pension funds to pay for private hip replacement operations because they have been in so much pain and waited so long for a replacement operation on the Welsh NHS. These are not wealthy people and have acted out of desperation.

    One can only wonder how Gething has the cheeck to proclaim………… “The way the system is run in England is not something that I think people in the service, or indeed the public, would want to see “

    Who on earth is he to assume our positions on this matter?

    I watched the interview last night and it really was cringeworthy stuff.

    The Labour party…….Letting down the people of Wales as always.

    • Penarth realist1 says:

      You have some either very old friends and relatives or else you mix with endurance runners circles!

      • Kevin Mahoney says:

        Yes it’s very surprising that quite a number of my relatives aare getting on a bit and that I also have a number of friends in the same category isn’t it? I don’t suppose that any one else has elderly relatives or friends, just me.

    • Philip Rapier says:

      Might be a nice idea for Tory Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to follow the Money Laundering Rules and take a pay cut instead of building a Property Empire while the Welsh NHS is starved of cash and more per person is given to English Patients s .
      From the Sun today
      ” The multi-millionaire Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt broke anti-money laundering rules when he set up a firm buying luxury flats.”
      “The NHS boss breached legislation brought in by his own government after failing to declare his 50 per cent interest in the property firm to Companies House – which is a criminal offence of a fine or up to two years in prison.”

      As Richard Hargreaves might have said “Naughty Mr Greedy has lots of houses to live in while the poorest Welsh children are waiting for operations on long waiting lists”

  3. penarthblog says:

    A feature of many politicians, regardless of party membership, is the ability to talk without actually saying anything. Humphrey Appleby would certainly appove.

  4. Nick Penberthy says:

    Ok lets see how we, the electorate, the customers, the patients, can get a vote on whether we agree with this grinning fool..

  5. Taxpayer says:

    Our NHS has plenty of money,it’s just wasted from the top !I have been a nurse for 40years I can’t wait till I retire this year,I’m sad to say that.

  6. John Powell says:

    He should simply admit it’s the wrong job for him – he is a bright guy, and a civil rights lawyer. While that doesn’t disqualify him from a health portfolio, it doesn’t have exactly qualify him either. He is also inept at fending off the cheap opportunism of the Tory leader who seems to be forever sniping at the NHS here.

    All of which said, why don’t they all agree that they, their families and friends will all
    wait for treatment for the equivalent period of longest wait experienced by th long suffering public.

    • Nick Penberthy says:

      He’s the wrong guy alright. Its not cheap opportunism, its reporting the facts. And its the BBC. And people are dying while he makes his mind up or Carwyn sacks him (never) so they continue dying…

    • David Day says:

      It’s not ‘sniping’, is it? The socialist way does not work, ever. Why, in a democracy, is it wrong to point that out at every possible opportunity. ‘Sniping’? No.

  7. Teresa Mitchell says:

    The “socialist way” brought in the NHS! It’s not only Wales that has problems though. I have relatives who work in the NHS in England and it’s not perfect there by any means. And didn’t we hear in the news just this morning that a high proportion of hospital wards have been mothballed?

  8. Terry healey says:

    Until the labour die hards take their blinkers off we are going to have to put up with these idiots running our country for the foreseeable future, we are getting taxed more now than ever, our health service is a disgrace, education system is dreadful, we are getting less and less value for money for our council tax payments, and in the meantime we have a first minister and his cronies swanning around like everything is perfect. Shame on them !!

    • Nick Penberthy says:

      Yes i agree with Terry Healey and would add that a wise man once said that socialism is the sharing of misery. Unless, of course, you administer.

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