Data showing lack of GP service provision “wrong” says First Minister – despite it coming from the Assembly’s own research service

According to data verified by the Assembly service, just 132 out of 452 Welsh GP surgeries are open after 6pm, contradicting the First Minister’s assertion today that a “majority of services in Wales” offer appointments into the evening.

According to the Welsh Conservatives, the limited service provision places working people at a “huge disadvantage”.

The revelation came during First Minister’s Questions, where Deputy Leader of the Welsh Conservatives Paul Davies AM challenged Carwyn Jones on whether he was aware of the percentage of GP services which were available after 6pm.

Mr Jones’ response confirmed that he was not aware of the percentage figure.

In Labour’s 2011 manifesto, it said that it would: “Require GPs to make surgeries more accessible to working people.” As these figures reveal, there is some way to go before this ambition is realised.

Speaking outside the Assembly Chamber, Mr Davies said:

“Most ordinary people working from 9-5 are unable to make GP appointments prior to 6pm, placing them at a huge disadvantage given that a disproportionately large number of surgeries do not cater for later appointments.

“That the First Minister was ignorant of the lack of service provision highlights his neglect of the Welsh health service, made worse by his assertion that the data was wrong – despite it coming from the Assembly’s own research service.

“Manifesto promise after manifesto promise and here we are in 2016 with no tangible improvement. Hardworking taxpayers have a right to seek help in a timely fashion that does not disrupt their professional or family obligations.

“I urge the First Minister and the Cabinet Secretary for Health* to get a handle on this issue, which is undoubtedly causing stress and anxiety for many people across Wales who are unable to get appointments at their local GP.”

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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