Cuts mean Hospital Surgeries cancelled in Llanelli and across West Wales

22nd October 2013

Hywel Dda Health Board has announced this week that it is to cancel all elective orthopaedic surgery for four main hospitals in the Hywel Dda Health Board area which includes Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli. The cancellations are a part of a wider cuts programme or as they term it "financial savings". The elective surgery such as hip and knee replacements will not resume until April 2014.

The Welsh government, including First Minister Carwyn Jones today in the Welsh Assembly, have defended the move by the health board and said they are simply "exploring options" ahead of the busy winter period. This though will be cold comfort to patients and people who use the services especially coming straight after the confirmation that Llanelli will lose its A & E department.

Labour's management of the NHS in Wales appears to be in meltdown and is a massive betrayl of the Welsh working class. Aneurin Bevan must be rolling in his grave, at what his successors in the so called Labour party are doing to his fantastic creation. £660 million has been cut from the NHS in Wales over the last three years according to the Wales TUC.

Unison, who represent health workers in Wales, have rightly reacted angrily to the plans and in criticizing the plans, UNISON Branch Chairperson, Wendy Evans, said: "The Health Board already has a waiting time of 15 months for patients awaiting orthopaedic surgery. This will clearly add at least another five to six months to their waiting time, causing further distress and possibly further complications to their condition."

Staff at Prince Philip Hospital have also been highly critical of the plans and the Socialist Party as well as other campaigners joins with them in their condemnation. We believe the allies we can rely on in this struggle are not Labour politicians who implement NHS cuts but the millions of working class people who rely on and value their NHS.

The Socialist Party fights against any cuts and privatisation to the NHS, for democratic control and accountability of health services, for united action to defend the NHS - the TUC must name the day for a 24-hour general strike against austerity and A socialist planned society that can genuinely meet and exceed the original aims of the NHS.

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

Scott Jones
Llanelli & West Wales Socialist Party Branch Secretary
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