By Sam Rowlands

MS for North Wales

I have recently had the honour of being appointed Shadow Minister for Health down in the Welsh Parliament.

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies has made a few changes in his Shadow Cabinet, and I am grateful for being given the health role.

It is the biggest part of the Welsh Government’s budget, and as I’m sure readers will be aware, things aren’t exactly going swimmingly in the Labour-run health service.

North Wales is at the sharp end of this, with the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board in special measures and regularly having woeful outcomes.

Indeed, whilst things are bad in our area, they aren’t great in any part of Wales! Recent figures for people waiting two years or longer for NHS treatment showed that there were around 23,000 on a list in Wales, with fewer than 300 in England. That is a huge difference, particularly when you consider the relative population sizes. The people of Wales shouldn’t have to put up with it.

I do appreciate that the Welsh Labour Health Minister, Baroness Eluned Morgan, has a difficult job. A quarter-century of Labour rule from Cardiff Bay has driven the health service into the ground. Her predecessors have put her in a tough situation, including current First Minister Vaughan Gething who served as Health Minister prior to Eluned.

I will work with her in any way I can, and I’m keen to support and offer advice in a productive way.

To start with, I’d like to see the Welsh NHS get the full funding it is entitled to. For every £1 spent by the UK Government in England on public services, the Labour-run Welsh Government gets £1.20.

Unfortunately, Welsh Government Ministers don’t spend all of that additional money on health! It’s not good enough – our NHS is in crisis and that extra money they receive from the UK Government could make a big difference in slashing waiting lists, recruiting doctors or improving hospital facilities. Instead, it is being spent on things like increasing the number of politicians in the Welsh Parliament. That’s just not right.

I look forward to getting stuck into my new role, working with the health sector and holding Welsh Government to account.

As ever, if you have any queries or issues you’d like to raise with me, then you can get in touch by emailing