Speeches recovered from the Conservative party’s online archive More…

Morgan: Welsh NHS cannot survive under Labour

Speech to the National Assembly for Wales.

"We return this afternoon to the issue of waiting lists, an issue that the Government has singularly failed to get to grips with, despite all the promises and money, or so-called investment, that the Government maintains is being put into the NHS.

Not only is this proving to be one of the biggest political issues that we face in Wales, it is embarrassing Government supporters in the country and annoying the 311,000 people—a number almost equivalent to the population of the capital city—who want to know why, after such an increase in spending, waiting lists have almost doubled under the Labour Government.

We were due to debate waiting lists and the second offer scheme in Plenary, but the debate was ditched at the last minute because the Government witnessed another astonishing rise in the numbers on the waiting lists, to 311,000 people.

As we approach the end of 2004, it is fitting that we again focus on this important issue. Before I give way to Lorraine Barrett, perhaps I could remind Members of the statistics: in 1997, a total of 168,917 people were on the combined out-patient and in-patient list. In 1999, that number had increased to 203,679; now, the total is 311,765.

That letter raises serious issues, not least about the way in which people can scaremonger about the skills levels of consultants, doctors and nurses from overseas. However, his letter also raises general concerns about the second-offer scheme, which many consultants throughout Wales regard as a gimmick. This is a serious matter, and I hope that the Minister will be able to respond to the issues that Mr Shewring raises.

I have referred to the figures. I also point out to the Labour Party that there has been a 398 per cent increase in the number of people waiting over 12 months on the out-patient list since Jane Hutt became Minister for Health and Social Services.

Perhaps the most incredible figure, which is on record in the Library, is that which shows that, since the Labour Party was elected into Government in 1997, there has been an astonishing 1,168 per cent increase in the number of patients waiting more than six months to see a consultant—that is some 75,500 people.

The difficulty that we now face is that there are more people waiting on the out-patient list. Consultants and hospital managers have told us that, in order to address the in-patient list, they have to ensure that people wait longer on the out-patient list to see a consultant.

You may think that there is no problem with that, but when you are on an out-patient waiting list waiting to see a consultant, perhaps for the first time, you are not entirely sure what is wrong with you or what the consultant needs to do to correct the problem that you have, and the level of stress, strain and panic is somewhat greater than when you are on the in-patient list waiting for the operation.

So you are adding to the stress that people face, by ensuring that they have to wait longer to see a consultant, as a result of your preoccupation with trying to sort out those waiting 18 months on the in-patient waiting list.

This outburst demonstrates—and it is confirmed by what I have heard from other hospital consultants—the real dislike that consultants have for the way in which this Government interferes in the running of the NHS. They feel that they, as practitioners, are best placed to make clinical decisions about how these operations should take place. It is they who know exactly the sort of problems that they face, not people sitting in Cathays park, and certainly not members of the Government.

The First Minister is getting rather over-exercised; perhaps we should call the nurse. Had you listened to what I said in response to Lorraine Barrett, you would have heard me say that I have real concerns about the language and tone used by that consultant.

On Rhodri Glyn Thomas's point, you must recognise that there is a large body of opinion, which has been expressed by this consultant, that questions whether you are managing the NHS and dealing with waiting lists correctly.

Perhaps you would listen for two seconds instead of waving your arms around, First Minister; this is not some sort of sixth-form debating society.

We want shorter waiting lists, we would rather see that 311,000 figure come down, but under your stewardship it has gone up and up and up. It is your fault, and it is the Minister's fault, and you should accept responsibility for that as First Minister.

You seem to be able to sit there and ignore what people are saying in the Chamber. Further to that, the Wanless report, which has been almost ignored by the Government, stated that we needed urgent and immediate action to solve the problem of waiting lists.

It suggested that out-of-Wales options could be taken, if necessary, but you have ignored that. You have also ignored a national strategy—you want local Wanless action plans instead. The Audit Commission talks of ineffective and inefficient spend of taxpayers' money.

That is Audit Commission speak for taxpayers' money being wasted. You must take that on board. It has criticised the Government for the way in which it has spent the extra resources in the NHS. There is never a debate in the Chamber about whether we should spend more or less.

We all agree with more spend for the NHS, but it must be spent in the right way, and the Audit Commission has said that you have not spent it efficiently enough.

To be helpful, I offer you two suggestions. First, consider ring-fencing elective capacity to protect operations that are due to take place. Many operations fall by the wayside because of extra pressures. Consider that—it has been done in England and you may want to pilot something similar in Wales.

In addition, why do you not consider a guaranteed waiting time for procedures, so that people know how long they would have to wait for a procedure? If that cannot be delivered by the NHS, use the money for that operation to treat patients, either in the private sector, in which you are already commissioning more beds, or in hospitals in England, which have greater capacity.

The attitude and arrogance of Labour is rather ironic. It is a party that trumpets the NHS as its creation. It is ironic that it could be the Labour Party that ultimately destroys it."

"Deuwn yn ôl y prynhawn yma at bwnc y rhestrau aros, sy'n bwnc y mae'r Llywodraeth wedi methu â mynd i'r afael ag ef, yn anad yr un arall, er gwaethaf yr holl addewidion ac arian, neu fuddsoddi fel y'i gelwir, y mae'r Llywodraeth yn honni ei fod yn cael ei ddyrannu i'r GIG.

Nid yn unig y mae hyn yn profi'n un o'r materion gwleidyddol mwyaf a wynebwn yng Nghymru, ond mae hefyd yn peri annifyrrwch i gefnogwyr y Llywodraeth yn y wlad ac yn digio'r 311,000 o bobl—nifer sydd bron yn cyfateb i boblogaeth y brifddinas—sydd am wybod pam, ar ôl y fath gynnydd yn y gwariant, y mae rhestrau aros wedi dyblu bron o dan y Llywodraeth Lafur.

Yr oeddem i fod i gael dadl ar y rhestrau aros a chynllun yr ail gynnig yn y Cyfarfod Llawn, ond rhoddwyd y gorau i'r ddadl ar y funud olaf gan fod y Llywodraeth wedi gweld cynnydd syfrdanol arall yn y niferoedd sydd ar y rhestrau aros, i 311,000 o bobl.

Wrth inni ddynesu at ddiwedd 2004, mae'n weddus inni ganolbwyntio unwaith eto ar y pwnc pwysig hwn. Cyn imi ildio i Lorraine Barrett, efallai y caf atgoffa Aelodau o'r ystadegau: yn 1997, yr oedd cyfanswm o 168,917 ar restr y cleifion allanol a rhestr y cleifion mewnol gyda'i gilydd. Yn 1999, yr oedd y nifer hwnnw wedi codi i 203,679; yn awr, y cyfanswm yw 311,765.

Mae'r llythyr hwnnw'n codi materion difrifol, yn anad dim y modd y gall pobl godi bwganod ynghylch lefelau sgiliau ymgynghorwyr, meddygon a nyrsys o wledydd tramor. Fodd bynnag, mae ei lythyr hefyd yn codi materion cyffredinol ynghylch cynllun yr ail gynnig, y mae llawer o ymgynghorwyr ledled Cymru'n ei ystyried yn gimig. Mae hyn yn fater difrifol, a gobeithiaf y bydd y Gweinidog yn gallu ymateb i'r materion a gododd Mr Shewring.

Yr wyf wedi cyfeirio at y ffigurau. Yr wyf hefyd yn tynnu sylw'r Blaid Lafur at y ffaith bod 398 y cant yn fwy o bobl yn disgwyl yn hwy na 12 mis ar y rhestr cleifion allanol ers i Jane Hutt ddod yn Weinidog dros Iechyd a Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol. Efallai mai'r ffigur mwyaf anhygoel, sydd ar ddu a gwyn yn y Llyfrgell, yw'r un sy'n dangos bod cynnydd syfrdanol o 1,168 y cant wedi bod, ers ethol y Blaid Lafur yn Llywodraeth yn 1997, yn nifer y cleifion sy'n disgwyl yn hwy na chwe mis i weld ymgynghorydd—dyna tua 75,500 o bobl.

Yr anhawster a wynebwn yn awr yw bod mwy o bobl yn disgwyl ar restr y cleifion allanol. Mae ymgynghorwyr a rheolwyr ysbyty wedi dweud wrthym fod yn rhaid iddynt sicrhau y bydd pobl yn disgwyl yn hwy ar restr y cleifion allanol i weld ymgynghorydd, er mwyn gallu talu sylw i restr y cleifion mewnol.

Gallech feddwl nad oes problem ynglyn â hynny, ond os byddwch ar restr aros i gleifion allanol yn disgwyl i weld ymgynghorydd, am y tro cyntaf efallai, ni fyddwch yn hollol siwr beth sydd o'i le arnoch neu beth y mae'n rhaid i'r ymgynghorydd ei wneud i ddatrys y broblem, a byddwch yn profi mwy o bwysau a straen ac ofn nag y byddech wrth ddisgwyl ar restr y cleifion mewnol i gael llawdriniaeth. Felly yr ydych yn achosi mwy o straen i bobl, drwy beri iddynt ddisgwyl yn hwy i weld ymgynghorydd, am eich bod wedi ymgolli yn yr ymgais i ddatrys y broblem sy'n ymwneud â'r rhai a fu'n disgwyl am 18 mis ar y rhestr aros i gleifion mewnol.

Mae'r ffrwydrad teimladau hwn yn dangos—ac fe'i cadarnhawyd gan yr hyn a glywais gan ymgynghorwyr ysbyty eraill—fod yr ymgynghorwyr yn dra anhoff o'r modd y mae'r Llywodraeth hon yn ymyrryd â'r gwaith o redeg y GIG. Teimlant mai hwy, fel ymarferwyr, sydd yn y lle gorau i wneud penderfyniadau clinigol ynghylch y modd y cyflawnir y llawdriniaethau hyn. Hwy sy'n gwybod pa broblemau'n union a wynebant, nid rhai sy'n eistedd ym mharc Cathays ac, yn sicr, nid aelodau'r Llywodraeth.

Mae'r Prif Weinidog yn gorgynhyrfu braidd; efallai y dylem alw'r nyrs. Pe byddech wedi gwrando ar yr hyn a ddywedais mewn ymateb i Lorraine Barrett, fe'm clywsech yn dweud fy mod yn pryderu'n fawr ynghylch yr iaith a'r oslef a ddefnyddiodd yr ymgynghorydd hwnnw.

Ynghylch y pwynt a wnaeth Rhodri Glyn Thomas, rhaid ichi gydnabod bod llawer o'r farn, a fynegwyd gan yr ymgynghorydd hwn, fod amheuon ynghylch a ydych yn rheoli'r GIG ac yn delio â'r rhestrau aros yn gywir. Efallai y gwrandewch am ddwy eiliad yn lle chwifio'ch breichiau yn yr awyr; nid rhyw fath o gymdeithas ddadlau i'r chweched dosbarth yw hwn.

Yr ydym am gael rhestrau aros byrrach, a byddai'n well gennym weld gostyngiad yn y ffigur hwnnw o 311,000, ond o dan eich goruchwyliaeth chi mae wedi codi dro ar ôl tro. Mae bai arnoch chi ac ar y Gweinidog, a dylech dderbyn cyfrifoldeb am hyn fel Prif Weinidog. Ymddengys y gallwch eistedd yno ac anwybyddu'r hyn a ddywed pobl yn y Siambr. At hynny, nodwyd yn adroddiad Wanless, sydd wedi'i anwybyddu bron gan y Llywodraeth, fod angen cymryd camau brys ar unwaith i ddatrys problem y rhestrau aros.

Awgrymodd y gellid cymryd dewisiadau y tu allan i Gymru, os oedd angen, ond yr ydych wedi anwybyddu hynny. Yr ydych hefyd wedi anwybyddu strategaeth genedlaethol—yr ydych am gael cynlluniau gweithredu Wanless lleol yn lle hynny. Mae'r Comisiwn Archwilio'n sôn am wario aneffeithiol ac aneffeithlon ar arian y trethdalwyr. Dyna ffordd y Comisiwn Archwilio o ddweud bod arian y trethdalwyr yn cael ei wastraffu.

Rhaid ichi dderbyn hynny. Mae wedi beirniadu'r Llywodraeth am y modd y gwariodd yr arian ychwanegol yn y GIG. Ni cheir byth ddadl yn y Siambr ynghylch a ddylem wario mwy neu lai. Yr ydym oll yn cytuno y dylid gwario mwy ar y GIG, ond rhaid ei wario'n briodol, ac mae'r Comisiwn Archwilio wedi dweud nad ydych wedi'i wario'n ddigon effeithlon.

Er mwyn bod o gymorth, cynigiaf ddau awgrym i chi. Yn gyntaf, ystyriwch glustnodi capasiti ar gyfer llawdriniaethau dewisol er mwyn sicrhau y cânt eu cyflawni. Caiff llawer o lawdriniaethau eu hepgor oherwydd pwysau ychwanegol. Ystyriwch hynny—fe'i gwnaed yn Lloegr ac efallai y carech ragbrofi rhywbeth tebyg yng Nghymru.

Hefyd, pam nad ystyriwch bennu amser aros gwarantedig ar gyfer triniaethau, fel y caiff pobl wybod am ba hyd y byddent yn gorfod disgwyl am driniaeth? Os na all y GIG gyflawni hynny, defnyddiwch yr arian ar gyfer y llawdriniaeth honno i drin cleifion, un ai yn y sector preifat, lle'r ydych yn comisiynu rhagor o welyau eisoes, neu mewn ysbytai yn Lloegr, sydd â mwy o gapasiti. Mae ymagwedd a thrahauster Llafur yn eironig braidd. Mae'r Blaid Lafur yn datgan mai hi yw'r blaid a greodd y GIG, ac mae'n beth eironig y gallai'r blaid honno ei ddinistrio yn y pen draw."

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech