Massive health cuts in Wales start to bite
Hospital workers and patients have reacted with shock and angerto suggestions that the Accident and Emergency department at Royal Glamorgan hospital will be closed weekends and outside of office hours on weekdays.
"Do they expect us to plan our accidents to fit in with their office hours?" asked one patient in Pontypridd. Patients would have to travel twenty miles to Prince Charles hospital in Merthyr Tydfil or to University Hospital of Wales (UHW) in Cardiff. Extra patients from Royal glamorgan would put intolerable pressure on those two hospitals. UHW has already failed to meet its targets without hundreds of patients arriving from Rhondda Cynon Taff.
These cuts are part of the swingeing cuts promised by the Welsh government to the NHS in Wales, worse even than in the English NHS and worse than the cuts under Thatcher in the 1980s. The Welsh NHS budget will be cut by 8% compared to 3% in England. £100 million will be cut by the Cwm Taf Health Board in Rhondda Cynon Taff (RCT) and Merthyr alone.
And yet none of the parties representing the area have uttered a word against these cuts. Only the Tories and Lib Dems have highlighted health cuts in Wales, which considering their coalition government in Westminster has cut the funding to Wales including the NHS is hypocrisy in the extreme.
Pontypridd Socialist Party member and Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate in the Welsh assembly election in May, Glyn Matthews said "This cut would be disastrous for people in RCT. The extra 30 minutes or more travelling to other hospitals could be a life or death difference for some patients. We will have to fight this and the people of RCT will not accept this devastating attack".