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Morgan: Labour could destroy the NHS in Wales

Speech to the National Assembly for Wales.

"A few months ago, a constituent of mine was told that she would have to wait 17 weeks for a mammogram. That was a shock to many Members and the media who felt that that was an incredible length of time to be told to wait for such an important scan.

Another constituent of mine from the north of the city was also told to wait 17 weeks for a mammogram. She is in her 30s, and has since been diagnosed with breast cancer.

I use that purely as an example to highlight the fact that Wales, in some respects, has a third world service.

We are not seeing the developments within our NHS that we would expect as Assembly Members, taxpayers, constituents, patients, doctors and nurses.

That case, and the case of Theresa Debono a few months ago, highlights the extent of the misery for some people.

It does not end there. We have heard the staggering waiting list figures—the global figure is somewhere in the region of 309,000. There are as many people living in the capital city in Wales as there are on a waiting list in Wales.

That is an astonishing statistic when compared with the situation in England and most countries in western Europe.

It is something, regardless of the second offer scheme, that the Government has not been able to get to grips with, and there are many things it could be doing to resolve this situation.

I am more than happy to recognise that there has been success in certain areas, but it is sad, when you consider south-east Wales, that it does not happen in areas such as Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen.

Caerphilly may be on its own, but when you consider the rest of Wales and the global figure, the situation in Wales is very bad.

I am confused about one point: there are 309,000 people waiting for treatment, and yet only recently did the Minister decide to take any action in terms of the second offer scheme.

Even the Wanless report suggests that immediate and urgent action should be taken by the Minister, but the Minister has failed to heed its suggestions.

The report mentions considering out-of-Wales options to alleviate the waiting list problem, yet Jane Hutt fails to recognise the importance of what the Wanless report states.

Consider cardiac patients—they are having to wait upwards of 10 months for treatment. If you are waiting for a triple heart bypass, the last thing you want to do is wait 10 months for what could be life-saving surgery.

Yet, we know for a fact that in England, there is so much spare capacity that the Assembly Government could pay to eliminate the waiting list in Wales by treating the Welsh patients in England.

Patients would not have to wait for more than two or three months to get treated in England, but Health Commission Wales has been told by the Government that it is only allowed to operate within the agreed financial envelope, namely within the budget that has been agreed for Health Commission Wales.

If that budget were expanded, you could treat the people who are waiting by sending them across to England, which has the spare capacity.

Even your own Members of Parliament—not Conservative, Plaid Cymru or Liberal Democrat MPs, but Labour MPs—who are now terrified of losing their seats at the next general election, have been saying that the policies pursued by this Government, not just the Minister, but endorsed by the Cabinet and supported by the First Minister, are wrong for Wales and are leading to real misery for those people who are waiting for treatment.

This cannot continue, which is why this motion has been tabled by colleagues today.

It is easy for the Government to blame everyone else. You can blame doctors and nurses, and blame patients for being sicker, although the Audit Commission has stated that sickness levels in Wales have nothing to do with the problem.

You can blame opposition politicians, but you have to accept that you, as the Government, are responsible for how the NHS in Wales is being developed.

I will make some useful suggestions. First, you should start to ring-fence elective capacity. It is ridiculous that there is a list of 309,000 people waiting.

That list gets longer because of accident and emergency crises leading to operations being ditched at the last minute. Start ring-fencing elective capacity.

You should introduce a minimum waiting time for procedures and make use of private finance initiatives, which your colleagues in England seem happy to do, to attract extra finance to the NHS in order to develop capacity.

You should be commissioning cardiac surgery out of Wales, in England, and you should stop interfering in the clinical judgments of the NHS. We should leave the running of the NHS to the expertise of its staff. You should set the overall strategy and stop interfering on a day-to-day basis.

Finally, it is a real pity and a great irony that, the party that apparently created the NHS and maintains its support for it, it is also the party in Wales that is set to destroy the NHS."

"Ychydig fisoedd yn ôl, dywedwyd wrth un o'm hetholwyr y byddai'n gorfod disgwyl 17 wythnos i gael mamogram. Rhoddodd hynny ysgytwad i lawer o Aelodau ac i'r cyfryngau a deimlai fod hynny'n gyfnod anghygoel o hir i orfod disgwyl i gael sgan pwysig o'r fath. Dywedwyd wrth un arall o'm hetholwyr yng ngogledd y ddinas y byddai'n gorfod disgwyl 17 wythnos i gael mamogram.

Mae dros ei 30, a chanfuwyd ers hynny fod canser y fron arni. Nid wyf ond yn defnyddio hynny fel enghraifft i ddangos fod y gwasanaeth mewn rhai meysydd yng Nghymru yn debycach i'r hyn a geir yn y trydydd byd.

Nid yw'r gwasanaeth iechyd yn datblygu fel y disgwyliem fel Aelodau o'r Cynulliad, trethdalwyr, etholwyr, cleifion, meddygon a nyrsys. Mae'r achos hwnnw, ac un Theresa Debono ychydig fisoedd yn ôl, yn dangos cymaint yw dioddefaint rhai pobl.

Ond, mae mwy na hynny. Clywsom ffigurau syfrdanol y rhestrau aros—mae'r cyfanswm tua 309,000. Mae cynifer yn byw ym mhrifddinas Cymru ag sydd ar restr aros yng Nghymru.

Drwy gymharu'r sefyllfa yng Nghymru â'r un yn Lloegr a'r rhan fwyaf o wledydd gorllewin Ewrop, sylweddolwn fod yr ystadegyn yn syfrdanol.

Nid yw'r Llywodraeth wedi llwyddo i fynd i'r afael â rhestrau aros, beth bynnag am gynllun yr ail gynnig, ac mae llawer y gallai ei wneud i ddatrys y sefyllfa hon.

Yr wyf yn fodlon iawn cydnabod bod llwyddiant wedi bod mewn rhai ardaloedd, ond peth trist, wrth ystyried y De-ddwyrain, yw na ddigwydd hynny mewn ardaloedd fel Blaenau Gwent a Thor-faen. Efallai fod Caerffili yn wahanol, ond pan ystyriwch weddill Cymru a'r cyfanswm, mae'r sefyllfa yng Nghymru'n wael iawn.

Mae un pwynt yn peri dryswch i mi: mae 309,000 o bobl yn disgwyl am driniaeth, ac eto, dim ond yn ddiweddar y penderfynodd y Gweinidog gymryd unrhyw gamau drwy gynllun yr ail gynnig.

Mae adroddiad Wanless hyd yn oed yn awgrymu y dylai'r Gweinidog gymryd camau brys ar unwaith, ond methodd y Gweinidog â chymryd sylw o'i awgrymiadau.

Mae'r adroddiad yn sôn am ystyried dewisiadau y tu allan i Gymru i liniaru problem y rhestr aros, ac eto mae Jane Hutt yn methu â chydnabod pwysigrwydd yr hyn a ddywed adroddiad Wanless.

Ystyriwch gleifion cardïaidd—maent yn gorfod disgwyl 10 mis a mwy i gael triniaeth. Os ydych yn disgwyl i gael llawdriniaeth ddargyfeiriol driphlyg ar y galon, y peth olaf y mae arnoch ei eisiau yw gorfod disgwyl 10 mis am lawdriniaeth a allai achub eich bywyd.

Ac eto, gwyddom fod cymaint o gapasiti dros ben yn Lloegr fel y gallai Llywodraeth y Cynulliad dalu i ddileu'r rhestr aros yng Nghymru drwy drin cleifion o Gymru yn Lloegr.

Ni fyddai cleifion yn gorfod disgwyl yn hwy na dau neu dri mis i gael eu trin yn Lloegr, ond mae'r Llywodraeth wedi dweud wrth Gomisiwn Iechyd Cymru na chaiff ond gweithredu o fewn yr amlen ariannol a gytunwyd, sef o fewn y gyllideb a gytunwyd ar gyfer Comisiwn Iechyd Cymru.

O ddarparu cyllideb fwy, gallech drin y rhai sy'n disgwyl drwy eu hanfon i Loegr, lle y mae capasiti ar gael.

Mae hyd yn oed eich Aelodau Seneddol eich hun—nid ASau y Ceidwadwyr, Plaid Cymru na'r Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol, ond ASau Llafur—sydd bellach yn ofni colli eu seddau yn yr etholiad cyffredinol nesaf, wedi bod yn dweud bod y polisïau a ddilynir gan y Llywodraeth hon, nid yn unig gan y Gweinidog, ond y rhai a gadarnhawyd gan y Cabinet ac a gefnogir gan y Prif Weinidog, yn rhai sy'n anghywir i Gymru ac yn peri gwir ddioddefaint i'r rhai sy'n disgwyl i gael triniaeth. Ni all hyn barhau, a dyna pam y cyflwynwyd y cynnig hwn gan gyd-Aelodau heddiw.

Mae'n beth hawdd i'r Llywodraeth roi bai ar bawb arall. Gallwch feio meddygon a nyrsys, a beio cleifion am fod yn salach, er bod y Comisiwn Archwilio wedi dweud nad oes a wnelo lefelau salwch yng Nghymru ddim â'r broblem. Gallwch feio gwleidyddion y gwrthbleidiau, ond rhaid ichi dderbyn mai chi, fel y Llywodraeth, sy'n gyfrifol am y modd y datblygir y GIG yng Nghymru.

Gwnaf rai awgrymiadau buddiol. Yn gyntaf, dylech ddechrau clustnodi capasiti ar gyfer llawdriniaeth ddewisol. Peth hurt yw bod rhestr aros o 309,000. Mae'r rhestr honno'n mynd yn hwy gan fod argyfyngau mewn adrannau damweiniau ac achosion brys yn peri i lawdriniaethau gael eu gohirio ar y funud olaf. Dechreuwch glustnodi capasiti ar gyfer llawdriniaethau dewisol.

Dylech gyflwyno amser aros byrraf ar gyfer triniaethau a defnyddio mentrau cyllid preifat, fel y mae'ch cymheiriaid yn Lloegr yn ddigon bodlon gwneud yn ôl pob golwg, i ddod â mwy o gyllid i'r GIG er mwyn datblygu capasiti.

Dylech gomisiynu llawdriniaethau cardïaidd y tu allan i Gymru, yn Lloegr, a dylech roi'r gorau i ymyrryd â phenderfyniadau clinigol y GIG. Dylem adael y gwaith o redeg y GIG i arbenigedd ei staff. Dylech osod y strategaeth gyffredinol a rhoi'r gorau i ymyrryd o ddydd i ddydd.

Yn olaf, mae'n drueni ac yn eironi mawr mai'r blaid a greodd y GIG, mae'n debyg, ac sy'n dal i'w gefnogi, yw'r blaid sy'n debygol o ddinistrio'r GIG yng Nghymru."

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