Wales' Health Minister has rejected a suggestion that the NHS is “harming patients” due to the severe levels of pressure on its services.
Eluned Morgan MS acknowledged that the speed at which patients were receiving treatment was being impacted but said she would “not accept for a moment” that the NHS was harming its patients.
ITV Cymru Wales has spoken to a number of NHS staff and health sector bodies and heard concerns over the sustainability of the health service in its present form.
Ms Morgan said: “I don’t think the NHS is harming patients, no.
“I think our ability to get to patients quickly, that is perhaps compromised by the pressures that we’re under at the moment but no, I would not accept for a moment that the NHS is harming patients.
“I think the situation is that maybe people have to wait a bit longer for care because of the pressures that have grown as a result of the pandemic and let’s be clear about that, that we’re seeing about 20% more people going to their GPs, we’ve got hugely long waiting lists because, of course, we had to be very careful about who was able to go into hospitals during the height of the pandemic.
“We’re trying to reign all that back at the same time as dealing with Covid, because that hasn’t finished yet.”
Speaking to ITV Cymru Wales for Wales This Week, looking at the challenges facing the NHS, Dr Pete Williams, a consultant in emergency medicine and paediatric medicine at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor, said he felt the current pressures on services were causing harm to patients.
He said: “This is not sustainable. We, this department, other departments around the country and the wider NHS, are harming patients because they’re not getting timely care."
Source: ITV News, 22 November 2021