By Gareth Iacobucci
GPs in Wales will be required to open at evenings and weekends under plans being tabled by the Labour Government.
The Labour manifesto for May’s Assembly elections is set to pledge extended opening hours in GP surgeries throughout the country.
The move ironically comes as the coalition in England weighs up whether to scrap central funding for evening and weekend surgeries from this April, with ministers locked in talks with GPC negotiators over the future of payment for extended hours.
First Minister Carwyn Jones told Wales on Sunday that the plans, which are due to be formally unveiled at the upcoming Labour conference in Llandudno, would have a positive impact on the nation’s health.
He said: ‘In our manifesto, we will make clear pledges to improve the patient experience right across Wales. Improved access to GP surgeries will have a big impact on the way we access the NHS.
‘By making it easier for working people to see their GPs at a time that will suit them, in the evenings and at the weekend, we know that people are much more likely to get developing health issues addressed.’