There needs to be a huge improvement to cancer waiting times after figures published earlier this week show that a key waiting time target has once again been missed. It has been over 6 years since the target was last met.
The Welsh Labour government has a target for 95% of urgent patients to be seen by a specialist within 62 days. A target that has been missed every month since 2008. New figures released today show that, just 85.2% of these cases had started definitive treatment within this time period. The figures also showed that not one of the six LHBs met this 95% target.
Last year the Health Minister told us that the cancer 62 day waiting time target would be met by October 2013, yet still that important target has not been met. In fact, the target has not been met once whilst Carwyn Jones has been First Minister.
It is simply not good enough that not a single Welsh health board met its 95% target. Being diagnosed with cancer is a terrifying experience and no-one should then be forced to wait over two months until the start of their treatment.
Whether it is cancer waiting times, referral to treatment times or ambulance response times, the Welsh Labour Government has continued to show that it cannot run the NHS in Wales. I hope Welsh Labour will listen to my calls to set up a cross-party and no-party commission to look into how we can address the significant problems our NHS faces, now and in the future.