‘He has to go’: Welsh Conservatives call on Mark Drakeford to explain why Health Minister is still in post
Paul Davies AM today led a Welsh Conservative charge to see Health Minister Vaughan Gething removed from his cabinet position.
Mr Davies has challenged the First Minister over the ineffective cabinet member who is still safely in position despite shocking recent headlines regarding infant mortalities under the Cwm Taf health board.
The opposition leader used today’s First Minister’s Questions to remind Mark Drakeford of the dismal record of Welsh Labour Government healthcare failings in Wales, with A&E waiting times lagging far behind England and Scotland, and five out of seven health boards currently in special measures or targeted interventions.
Mr Davies demanded answers on why the First Minister has faith in his Health Minister – who has presided over all four years that North Wales’ Betsi Cadwaladr has been trapped in special measures – and why this health board has recorded 38 patients dying in unexplained or unintended incidents, more than all other Welsh health boards together.
The party leader began his calls last week for the Minister to be stripped of his position, and for a more capable replacement to be found to resolve the appalling situation at Cwm Taf.
Welsh Labour’s Mr Gething was forced to apologise repeatedly last week after a Royal College report published last Tuesday found 11 areas of concern in the Cwm Taf maternity units at The Royal Glamorgan and Prince Charles hospitals, as well as cause to investigate 43 pregnancies after 27 babies lost their lives in recent years.
Despite this miserable track record on healthcare, The Welsh Government is still failing to take action to change leadership at the top.
Commenting outside the chamber, Welsh Conservative leader, Paul Davies AM said:
“It is completely unacceptable that Mr Gething is still presiding over healthcare in Wales.
“His track record is appalling, and this latest scandal at Cwm Taf makes it clear that the First Minister cannot waste any more time dithering over this decision; his Health Minister has to go.
“How can the Welsh public, and especially the residents in the Cwm Taf area, have faith in a Health Minister with such a sorry catalogue of failings behind him?
“The Welsh Labour Government must do more to hold themselves accountable for this tragedy, and to find the best and fastest solution to lift these health boards out of special measures, and into a safer future for the residents of Wales”.
Conference, Harry S Truman, the 33rd President of the United States from 1945 to 1953, famously kept a plaque on his Oval Office desk. It said “The buck stops here.”