Wales Labour Health Minister has said she “can’t rule out” routine NHS services being suspended during the winter months.

Conservative response to potential cancellation of NHS operations

Labour’s Health Minister in Cardiff Bay has said she "can't rule out" routine NHS services being suspended during the winter months.

On the BBC Wales Live programme, Baroness Morgan MS said “staffing pressures may force some health boards to have to look at how they are giving their services and, of course, they will have to adapt and they will adapt to the circumstances that are before them.

She continued when pressed on the cancellation of major services: “We certainly can’t rule that out as a possibility… I can’t make any promises.”

The minister also said the Labour Government is “not ruling out” a Wales-specific Covid inquiry despite avoiding accountability, instead choosing to be part of a UK-wide inquiry.

The slow movement towards a Wales inquiry had been predicted previously by Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies MS in a recent article that forecasted the First Minister would “cynically and dishonestly engineer conflict with the British Government” to disguise his u-turn after coming under enormous pressure from opposition parties and charities to hold a Welsh inquiry.

 Commenting, Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Minister, Russell George MS said:

“It is utterly unacceptable for Labour’s health minister to suggest the cancellation of NHS operations this winter knowing it will only worsen the enormous backlog.

“The NHS backlog for treatment doubled in the year before the pandemic and has spiralled out of control as a result of halting operations during lockdowns, with a fifth of the population now languishing.

“This has led to added months of agony for those waiting for treatment, with one-in-four patients waiting over a year, all in addition to the worst-ever A&E waits on record and an ambulance crisis.

“She says staff shortages are to blame, but lack of planning from the Cardiff Bay Government has left 3,000 unfilled jobs and a shortage of PPE as the British Medical Association has highlighted.

“Labour should remember that people in Wales did not stay at home all these months to save the NHS only for ministers to fail in their duty to protect it.”

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