Mid and West AM Simon Thomas discussed the proposed changes to hospital services during a meeting of the South East Pembrokeshire Community Health Network at New Hedges Village Hall on Tuesday.
Plaid Cymru’s Simon Thomas said:
“I’d like to thank the chair of the group Councillor Jon Preston and all those who came along to the meeting. I found it interesting to hear the views of local people about what they want from their hospital services.
“Hywel Dda University Health Board is reviewing the future of hospital services within its boundaries with several options, including hospital closures.
“I’ve raised this in the Senedd chamber so I was pleased to provide an update of Plaid Cymru’s work on this issue. I am committed to keep hospital services in Pembrokeshire.
“Our future hospital services has to recognise Wales has a rural/scattered population, rather than accepting a one size fits all urban model of healthcare which can be imposed on rural areas.
“The justification for these changes is staff shortages. Plaid Cymru believes the Welsh NHS needs to recruit more doctors, more nurses not centralising services. The constant re-jigging of the health service in the west is just another example of a lack of leadership from the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay.
“I can support strengthening community health services, however it is not the same thing as arguing for ward closures and the transfer of services further away from people.
“Plaid Cymru secured investment in community services in the recent Welsh budget including 80 new district nurses, £40m for improving mental health services, new investment in medical education in north Wales, an integrated care centre in Cardigan and the re-establishment of perinatal mental health support service in Wales.
“The purpose of strengthening community health services should be to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions, not to prevent necessary ones. We will still need hospitals for the foreseeable future.”