Minister accused of breaking health checks promise

All three opposition parties are accusing the Welsh Government of breaking a key health promise. Health Minister Lesley Griffiths has announced that 'online assessments' will be introduced for people over 50, fulfilling a pledge in Labour's programme for government.

Increasingly, people are using online methods to access services at a time and place which suits them best, from banking to food shopping. The same approach can be used for helping us manage our health.

People will be provided with high quality advice on a range of health and social issues which can be tailored to their own personal circumstances, as well as improved access to the most effective national and local prevention services

– Lesley Griffiths AM, Health Minister

But the announcement has been attacked by the official opposition as 'a massive climb-down from the Health Minister and another promise broken.'

This was a key Labour health policy in 2011 that committed this government to annual health checks with a GP for every person over 50. It’s now clear it wasn’t worth the paper it was written on.

Not only are the over 50s being deprived of the service they were promised, many will struggle to even access this second-rate substitute. Older people in areas poorly covered by broadband, or those who are not online at all, will rightly question this watered down scheme.”

– Darren Millar AM, Shadow Health Minister

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams said the online checks represent a 'watered down' version of a key pledge. And Plaid Cymru's Health Spokesperson Elin Jones said she was 'sceptical that a website can take the place of a trained health professional.'