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Welsh Government 'must investigate delays'

The Shadow Health Minister, Darren Millar has called for a 'serious investigation' into ambulance responses to 999 calls.

Figures he obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show 262 emergencies in Wales last year where the wait for an ambulance was over an hour and it took nearly two hours for an ambulance to reach a stab or gunshot incident.

We do not know what the outcomes in each of those cases are, whether people have died needlessly because an ambulance has not turned up. I think there needs to be a serious investigation into what has gone on in each of these cases.

– Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar AM

Welsh NHS on 'brink of financial meltdown' - Tories

Responding to the Wales Audit Office report, the Conservatives' Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar said:

These damning figures confirm that the Welsh NHS is on the brink of financial meltdown.

The Wales Audit Office report flies in the face of recent assurances from the NHS Chief Executive that all health boards would break even by the end of the financial year.

This situation is now completely unmanageable. The financial challenge our health boards are facing is driving unpopular and dangerous service change; making targets more difficult to achieve and putting immense pressure on hardworking frontline staff.

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  1. Adrian Masters

'Minister's position is still precarious' - Welsh Conservatives

Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar says,

I am pleased that the Minister and her officials will be invited to appear before the Health Committee to answer questions on this important matter.

It is a great shame that a motion had to be tabled in order to coax the Minister to appear before us for scrutiny.

It would have been much more helpful if she had given a commitment to attend the committee when she made a statement in the Senedd eariler in the week.

It is now important that she is not flanked by officials within committee – but answers questions separately from those who corresponded with the author of the report.

This Minister’s position is still precarious and it is quite right that all due scrutiny takes place and questions are answered.

  1. Adrian Masters

Conservatives launch counter-attack on Health Minister over cancer drugs

Welsh Conservatives have dismissed the Health Minister's attack on their claims about the lack of availability of 24 cancer drugs. You can read what she said here. Now Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar has issued this statement.

The minister’s relentless refusals of what would be a life-prolonging policy are baffling.

The independent research - which has clearly not been properly read by the minister - makes it clear that these drugs are not routinely available in Wales.

Consequently, patients here are five times less likely to obtain them than English patients who have access to a cancer drugs fund.

That’s unfair. I want to see an end to this divide – along with thousands of cancer patients and their families - and I don’t understand why the minister does not support this view.

According to the Rarer Cancers Foundation, a drugs fund could cost as little as 3.3 million pounds, an amount that the first minister himself has acknowledged is small fry compared to the overall health budget.

The Welsh Conservatives believe their campaign matches concerns of voters. They're not going to give up on this line of attack, in fact expect to see it stepped up and intensified over the coming months.