Health Minister: Welsh Government can always do more to support the NHS in Wales

Speaking on Y Byd yn ei Le, Ms Morgan was asked if the Welsh Labour Government could have done more for the NHS during it's 23 years in power. Credit: Y Byd yn ei Le

The Welsh Government "can do more" to support the NHS, the health minister has said.

Eluned Morgan told S4C's Y Byd yn ei Le programme that there's "always more" a government can do.

It comes after unions expressed their disappointment following a meeting with the Health Minister to discuss a one-off payment for NHS workers.

Following Thursday's talks, unions including Unite, Unison and the RCN told ITV Wales that amounts were discussed, but no set pay offer was decided.

The Welsh Government is hoping a one-off pay offer will bring an end to the strikes which saw around 1,500 ambulance workers from the GMB union walk out across Wales on Wednesday.

More than 1,000 ambulance workers, who are members of the Unite union, are still set to take part in industrial action on 19 and 23 January.

During her interview on Y Byd yn ei LeAsked, Ms Morgan was asked if the Welsh Government had missed opportunities during its 23 years in power to put the NHS in a better place to deal with this winter's crisis.

She responded:

"Let's be clear, there's always more a government can do, always more. We have an elderly population, so of course we can do more, there's always room to do more.

"But I think it's important people understand that there is a challenge here. For example, when Aneurin Bevan created the NHS in 1948, people worked until they were 65 and died when they were 68. That was the reality.

"By today, the success of the NHS has also created a problem for the NHS because now, people live so long and have such complex problems, perhaps we as a society haven't accepted how much more we need to pay for that gap."

Ms Morgan had recently called on the public to look after themselves in order to ease the pressure on the Welsh health service.

In an interview with ITV Wales News, she said "a really honest conversation" needed to be had with the public about how they can help relieve some of the pressure on the NHS.

She said: "We're in a situation where I think we've got to acknowledge we've got an older population, an aging population with more complex needs.

"So one of the things we're going to have to do is have a really honest conversation with the public about what they can do to help us to take the pressure off.

"But by really doing more to look after themselves, by eating well, by doing more fitness, by making sure they understand their responsibility in relation to their own health as well - that will take a bit of pressure off the NHS."

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