Welsh NHS 'is a scandal', says David Cameron

David Cameron Image copyright PA
Image caption The UK and Welsh governments are engaged in a bitter row over the true state of the Welsh NHS

Prime Minister David Cameron has told MPs the state of the NHS in Wales "is a scandal".

The claim is the latest twist in a row between the UK government and the Labour-run Welsh government over the performance of the service in Wales.

Labour said it was "simply the latest chapter in the Tory war on Wales" by Mr Cameron's Conservatives.

But UK ministers point to longer waiting times for treatment in Wales and the failure to meet targets.

Speaking during Prime Minister's Questions, Mr Cameron said: "Frankly what we have in our NHS in Wales is a scandal, and it's a scandal that's entirely the responsibility of the Labour party who are running the Welsh Assembly Government.

"They made the decision to cut NHS spending by 8% in Wales, as a result, they have not met an A&E target since 2009."

Addressing Labour leader Ed Miliband, he said: "If he had any gumption, if he had any backbone, he would get hold of the first minister in Wales and tell him to start investing in the NHS in Wales."

The prime minister was responding to a question from Monmouth MP David Davies, who raised the case of his constituent Mariana Robinson, from Llandogo, who is campaigning for the NHS to allow her to continue her cancer treatment in England.

A spokesman for Mr Jones described Mr Cameron's comments as "simply the latest chapter in the Tory war on Wales" after "another planted question to give another scripted attack on the Welsh NHS".

"The Tories have slashed the Welsh budget by £1.7bn, despite this we're still spending more per capita on health than they do in England," the spokesman said.

"The prime minister needs to spend more time focusing on the ongoing scandals in the English NHS rather than relying on these woeful distraction techniques.

"In relation to the actual question on cross-border care - every day thousands of English patients get their care in the Welsh NHS and vice versa.

"These matters are properly managed by clinicians. The Tories seem hell-bent on creating an iron curtain between two health systems that work well together on a daily basis.

"That is a matter of regret," he added.

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