Another day, another row (part two)

  • 9 April 2014
  • From the section Wales
  • comments

Another day, another row between the Welsh and the UK governments.

I wrote that on Monday in relation to the row about the health care given to injured soldiers.

By some calculations, David Cameron criticised the Welsh NHS for the 31st time at prime minister's questions on Wednesday, thanks to a question from the Vale of Glamorgan Conservative MP Alun Cairns.

First Minister Carwyn Jones just happened to be on the Jason Mohammad programme at the time the prime minister was describing Welsh Labour's health record as "dreadful" and the NHS in Wales as "a shambles".

Mr Jones's response was that the prime minister "doesn't care two hoots about the NHS in Wales", he was "trying to divert attention from his own problems - it's an old trick".

The attacks on the Welsh NHS, or as the Conservatives would put it, Labour's stewardship of the health service in Wales, are becoming part of the furniture of PMQs.

We can expect more at the Welsh Conservative conference in Llangollen this weekend. In fact I am told we can expect some of the strongest attacks yet on the Welsh government's record, although frankly it is difficult to see how much further they can go.

There may be plenty of mudslinging going on but does it get us any closer to the truth about the strengths and weaknesses of the NHS on either side of the border?

On Friday, a study by the The Nuffield Trust and the The Health Foundation seeking to compare NHS performance in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland over 20 years is due to be published.

For those who do not instinctively believe one side or the other in the conflict over the Welsh NHS, it might help shed a little light on the true state of health services in different parts of the UK.