Yeah but no but to using the private sector in the NHS?

Image caption Has the Health Minister "gone Vicky Pollard"?

Have I already had a stab at explaining the implications of the Welsh government giving the go-ahead for the use of the private sector in the health service?

Yes, just five days ago.

Was this go-ahead specifically and as a last resort to LHBs who are struggling to cut waiting times for orthopaedic surgery?


When asked for their reaction to the news that the NHS in Wales is now planning to buy in private treatment for orthopaedic patients, did the government say that "it is prudent for health boards to explore all possible avenues to ensure our targets are met by March."


Was the political significance here that Welsh Labour's manifesto written for May's Assembly election said that Labour had delivered on a pledge to "eliminate the use of private sector hospitals in NHS Wales and will continue to rule out the use of PFI in health services"?


Has the Health Minister today said that she "completely rejected the privatisation of NHS services".


Got you. So LHBs are absolutely NOT being given the go-ahead to turn to the private, or independent sector to get out of trouble and hit their waiting list targets?

No... well yes... well... the Minister "would prefer not to see any independent sector used".

Is that a yes? Or a no?

Preferably no. "Using private, independent sector must be a very short term and must be a last option."

Hang on, isn't that by definition a yes?

Yes it is, says Conservative health spokesman Darren Millar. It is a yes and comes from a minister who - caught in that painful spot between principle and pragmatism - has come over all Vicky Pollard.

Yeah, but no, but...

Is this not a case of a Minister denying something that hasn't been claimed - the wholesale privatisation of the NHS in Wales? It does feel a bit like it, with a tacit nod along the way to those who feel they must turn to the private sector to get one, small part of the job done.


Yeah, but no, but yeah, but...