Plaid Cymru has pledged to recruit an additional 5,000 nurses to work in the Welsh health service over the next 10 years, if it wins in the general election.
The party, which will contest for control of the Welsh Assembly in the election on 8 June, has today published its 50-page manifesto.
“Plaid Cymru will train and recruit an additional 5,000 nurses for the Welsh NHS in the next decade”
The document – titled Defending Wales: A healthier, happier Wales – includes five key pledges on health and social care, as well as several others that involve the sector.
The party said it wanted Wales to be a “global leader” in healthcare where patients could “secure an appointment, speak to a specialist and be treated quickly, conveniently and effectively”.
However, at present, Plaid claimed that beds in the country had been cut by 7% and waiting times for diagnosis and treatment were “the worst in the UK”.
Wales was also “facing a social care crisis” due to underinvestment and a “perverse historic” divide between health and social care, said the party.
In addition, it described services available for patients with mental health issues as “poor” and said there was a lack of the essential support necessary for their full participation in society.
As a result, the party said it was committing to significantly boosting both the nursing and medical workforces over the next decade.
It also promised a social care “rescue plan” that would help patients to live independently and increase the role of community hospitals.
Other election pledges covered ambitions to improve public health, gain funding for mental health and push for the £350m investment in the NHS promised by the Leave campaign in the run-up to the European Union referendum.
Prior to the calling of the election, Plaid had three of 40 Welsh seats in the UK parliament and 11 of 60 seats in the National Assembly for Wales.
Speaking ahead of the launch of the manifesto, party leader Leanne Wood said: “The action plan we will be unveiling today is a fully-costed, comprehensive set of proposals designed to withstand those risks.”
Plaid Cymru health-related election pledges:
- Plaid Cymru will train and recruit an additional 1,000 doctors and 5,000 nurses for the Welsh NHS in the next decade. We will also establish a medical school in the north of Wales.
- We will introduce a social care rescue plan which will help people to live independently and increase the role of community hospitals. We will ensure that health and social care services are seamlessly provided. A Plaid Cymru carers’ contract will support those who care for others.
- We will hold the Leave campaign to account and push for our share of the £350m promised to the NHS after leaving the European Union.
- We will make it our target to save 10,000 lives over 10 years, through a range of measures from public health actions and promoting individual lifestyle changes, whilst also ensuring earlier diagnosis of disease and better access to life-saving treatments.
- Having already secured an extra £20m for mental health treatment as an effective opposition party in the National Assembly, we will continue to call for increased funding and improved access to trained counsellors and therapists in the community.
- Our vow to veterans will mean that they are given the support they deserve and need. We will make sure veterans receive excellent healthcare, including mental health care, and adequate housing.
- We will create a Welsh Migration Advisory Service so that we can have a system that suits Wales’s needs. Welsh-specific visas are necessary to plug skills gaps and to protect our health service from staff shortages. International students must be taken out of net migration targets.