It has been quite a long time since I last wrote a blog entry, but reading the news headlines yesterday started me wondering about what planet the Welsh Government Health Minister - Mark Drakeford - actually lives on. Because everything I hear coming from the man's mouth beggars belief.
There has been a debate in the Senedd where Mark Drakeford was defending standards in the Welsh NHS and trying (unconvincingly) to show how the Welsh NHS is in good hands under his stewardship.
Everybody knows I am no fan of this man following his ideological crusade against eCigarettes, where despite all the evidence from esteemed medical professionals to the contrary, he is convinced that he knows better and that eCigarettes are a Gateway to smoking, a danger to health and must be stamped out at all costs.
So I decided to look back on the state of Health in Wales as has been reported in the Press this year. Unsurprisingly, it didn't take me very long to find a huge swathe of his failings. So, I decided to chronicle how well Health Services in Wales are doing under his stewardship.
Mark Drakeford states that people were “being treated faster and living longer” than the situation inherited in 1999 when the National Assembly was created. http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/welsh-nhs-better-devolution-insists-7290277
One look at the following news reports paints an entirely different picture.
Now I have to ask, reading all the below headlines that have occurred in just THIS YEAR, is this a man living with his head in the sand ?
Is he actually competent for the post he holds ?
Would you trust him ?
Make your own mind on how much ‘better’ Welsh Health is under his stewardship:
1. Number Of Patients Waiting More Than 36 Weeks For NHS Treatment Reaches a New High – Reported on 09/01/2014
Full story here: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/number-patients-waiting-more-36-6483486
2. Health Minister Mark Drakeford accused of using outdated figures in hospital closure plans – Reported on 17/01/2014
Full story here: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/health-minister-mark-drakeford-accused-6520455
3. Welsh ambulance response time target missed again – Reported on 30/04/2014
Full story here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-27221129
4. Calls for full public inquiry into hospital care standards at Princess of Wales and Neath Port Talbot – Reported 31/01/2014
Full story here: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/full-public-inquiry-call-princess-6650995
5. WELSH patients needing hip replacements are waiting more than twice as long as people in England for their operations – Reported on 16/02/1014
Full story here: http://www.westerntelegraph.co.uk/news/11012951.Waiting_times_for_hip_replacements_set_to_go_up_again/
6. Heart patients could be transferred from Wales to England to avoid waiting lists - Reported on 26/02/2014
Full story here: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/heart-patients-could-transferred-wales-6747461
7. Waiting lists for heart and lung surgery reach 'record high' – Reported 04/03/2104
8. Ann Clwyd warns of 'dangerously high' death rates – Reported 05/03/2014
Full story here: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/jeremy-hunt-accuses-welsh-government-6775663
9. 'No compromise' on minimum nursing levels in Welsh hospitals, says Royal College of Nursing – Reported 07/03/2014
Full story here: http://www.thepennypost.co.uk/2014/03/07/no-compromise-on-minimum-nursing-levels-in-welsh-hospitals-says-royal-college-of-nursing/
10. Judicial review to be launched against Llanelli A&E closure plans – Reported 07/03/2014
Full story here: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/judicial-review-launched-against-llanelli-6782786
11. Nearly 1,700 operations postponed in just five months due to lack of beds – Reported on 10/03/2014
Full story here: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/nearly-1700-operations-postponed-just-6791035
12. Wales has disproportionately lengthy waiting times compared to the rest of the UK according to Nuffield Trust – Reported on 11/04/2014
Full story here: http://www.health.org.uk/public/cms/75/76/313/4746/The%20four%20health%20systems%20of%20the%20UK%20summary.pdf?realName=fQG84P.pdf
13. Cancer patients in England 7 times more likely to access cancer drugs than Welsh counterparts – Reported 01/05/2014
Full story here: http://www.welshconservatives.com/news/cancer-patients-england-7-times-more-likely-access-meds
14. Health complaints – numbers show significant rise across Wales since 2009 – Reported 02/05/2014
Full story here: http://www.careforumwales.co.uk/news/458
15. A damning report has found 'shocking' failures of care at two Welsh hospitals – Reported 13/05/2014
Full story here: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/princess-wales-hospital-health-minister-7111151
16. Fresh calls for public inquiry into Welsh NHS from patients and families – Reported 20/05/2014
Full story here: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/fresh-calls-public-inquiry-welsh-7147359
17. Senior doctors: Welsh GP service 'in crisis' – Reported 07/04/2014