Lose weight to cut waiting lists Welsh urged amid 'unsustainable' NHS backlog


NHS waiting lists are at a record high in Wales

Hannah Woodward

By Hannah Woodward

Published: 20/04/2024

- 18:41

Updated: 21/04/2024

- 08:49

The number of patients in Wales waiting for treatment hit 591,600 in February

Lose weight to help combat NHS waiting lists, is the message from Wales’ Health Minister.

Eluned Morgan, the Minister for Health and Social Services, is warning the NHS Wales could become “unsustainable” if people do not lead healthier lives and reduce the burden on the NHS.

It comes as the number of patients in Wales waiting for treatment hit 591,600 in February - the highest since records began.

Morgan said obesity and diabetes has a particular impact on the health service.

“The fact is that in Wales, 60 per cent of adults are overweight or obese and we spend 10 per cent of our budget on diabetes, which has a direct relationship with people being overweight.

“If that continues on the trajectory that we’re on at the moment, then the system will become unsustainable.”

The Welsh Conservatives are calling on the Welsh Government to “stop blaming others”

Shadow Health Minister, Sam Rowlands MS said "while there are lifestyle changes we can all make to help ease the pressure on our health service, Labour's Health Minister needs to stop blaming others and take some responsibility.

"Labour run the NHS in Wales and we have the longest waits for treatment in the UK, but the Health Minister keeps passing the buck whether that be onto health boards or patients.

“I want to see our Welsh NHS fully resourced with every penny that comes from the UK Government for health to hire more doctors and nurses as opposed to Labour's plans to spend £120 million hiring more politicians.”

In a bid to combat waiting times in Wales, the Health Minister says she is concentrating on patients with the longest waits.

“I’m very pleased that 97% of people on our waiting list are not waiting more than two years – that’s true for six out of the seven hospitals in Wales.”

Speaking earlier this week Morgan revealed how the Welsh Government is considering sanctions to health boards who do not do enough to reduce treatment waiting lists - but admitted she does not want patients paying the price.

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