Plaid Cymru’s health policy puts GPs and primary care at the heart of the NHS in Wales. Since devolution in 1999, health has been the responsibility of the National Assembly for Wales, and the Welsh NHS has developed along somewhat different lines. There is no clinical commissioning in Wales and we have universal free prescriptions (a Plaid policy dating back to 1994).
At the moment 90% of patients are treated in the community on only 7.7% of the NHS budget in Wales. Plaid Cymru believes in reversing that declining budget share for primary care, to employ more doctors, nurses and community health professionals, and to tackle the state of GP premises. We need to see that proportion return to the 10% that primary care used to receive. Far too much money is spent on management which we would streamline as well as abolishing the QOF.
I have been a GP in Swansea since 1984, and was elected as a Plaid Cymru Assembly Member from 1999 until 2011. I was Shadow Health Minister for Wales from 1999 until 2003.
While in the Assembly Coalition government between 2007 and 2011, we abolished the internal market and opposed any new PFI projects in health. Plaid has always opposed GP commissioning. In the One Wales framework drawn up between Plaid and Labour in 2007, there was agreement to abolish the internal market, oppose new PFI contracts in health and there was no GP commissioning. There remains no GP commissioning in Wales.
Plaid Cymru stands for the NHS as a public service, opposed to privatisation, with GPs very much at its core.
As a GP myself, I am proud to be a member of Plaid Cymru, and proud of Plaid’s achievements in health since the advent of the National Assembly for Wales.
Dr Dai Lloyd is a GP in Swansea and was Plaid Cymru Assembly Member for South Wales West between 1999 and 2011