Wales Campaigners Fight for NHS

19th June 2013

Mariam Kamish

Campaigners from Ystrad Fawr Hospital and from other areas have come together to call for support for 'Option 5' in the current NHS Wales consultation.

We're being offered four options, but each would mean the loss of services - and none of them would give us our Accident and Emergency (A&E) service back.

We say: write 'Option 5, No A&E down-gradings and return a 24-hour doctor-led A&E both to Ystrad Fawr and Llwynypia Hospital' in the response form. If all areas stand together, we can win.

£660 million has been cut from the NHS in Wales over the last three years according to the Wales TUC. We demand that money be invested back into the NHS.

NHS representatives say that the downgrading of A&E services is dictated by a shortage of A&E doctors.

Campaigners argue that this problem can be overcome. At the moment our A&Es are stressful places to work, because they're very understaffed.

Consultants are expected to be on call one night in three, instead of one night in six or eight, as in England.

The answer is not to spread the consultants we have over fewer A&Es. We need to bring in more consultants and that calls for imaginative thinking.

NHS Wales should put crèches and child minding services for consultants into A&Es to win back consultants who are raising young families.

They should scrap student fees and bring in bursaries for trainee doctors - with a year for year match agreement under which for every year a trainee doctor trains, he or she agrees to work for a year in Wales.

As Aneurin Bevan said: 'We will have an NHS in this country as long as people are prepared to fight for it.'
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