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Health Policy

Volume 597: debated on Wednesday 17 June 2015

7. What discussions he has had on returning control of health policy from the Welsh Government to Westminster. (900276)

I am grateful for that reply. Will the Secretary of State ignore any siren calls there might be for the repatriation of health policy? Does he agree that this is not a matter of a war with Wales or of Offa’s Dyke being the border between life and death, and will he put the responsibility where it lies—with the Labour Governments who have reorganised health and tolerated the situation in north Wales for far too long?

I agree with the hon. Gentleman’s point. The Welsh Government have full policy responsibility for health services and all the levers available to them. Full responsibility for the challenges and problems in Welsh health services lies with them.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that all those looking across the River Severn enviously at the shorter waiting times and better ambulance response times under the Conservative-run NHS in England have an opportunity for change next May, when they can vote for a Conservative Government in the Welsh Assembly?

As ever, the Chairman of the Welsh Affairs Committee speaks truth and wisdom. It is not healthy for Wales or the Welsh Labour party for the latter always to assume it will be in power in Cardiff Bay. A non-Labour alternative to running the Assembly would do the Welsh health service the world of good.

Many constituents receive excellent cancer care from Velindre hospital. Is there not a danger when the NHS is used as a political football of diminishing the great work done in such hospitals by the fantastic professionals in the Welsh NHS?

I do not know what the hon. Gentleman is referring to, but I know that the former leader of his party said he wanted to “weaponise” the NHS.

Does my right hon. Friend share my concern about the fact that the Welsh Government are ignoring calls for the provision of a cancer drugs fund in Wales, thus putting my constituents at a severe disadvantage in comparison with those on the other side of Offa’s Dyke?

My hon. Friend makes a good point. On doorsteps throughout Wales during the election campaign, people expressed anger and frustration about their inability to gain access to the life-enhancing cancer drugs that are available to patients in England. A petition calling on the Welsh Government to introduce a cancer drugs fund has been signed by 100,000 people in Wales, and I cannot for the life of me understand why the Welsh Government are being so stubborn.