Page last updated at 16:31 GMT, Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Statement on the NHS

There is an urgent need for change within the NHS in Wales, according to Health Minister Lesley Griffiths.

The minister outlined the government's five year plan for the NHS Wales, on 1 November 2011.

However opposition parties criticised the minister on the lack of detail in the government's proposals for change.

According to the minister, Together for Health outlines the challenges facing the health service and the actions necessary to ensure it is capable of world-class performance.

Lesley Griffiths said: "I strongly believe that within the NHS there is an urgent need for change."

"Rising expectations, driven by medical advances and changing patterns of disease and demography, means the status quo is not an option.

Ms Griffiths added: "These new pressures, along with the financial challenges the NHS faces, mean we have to act now."

Conservative Leader Andrew RT Davies accused the government of publishing "a blurred, vague and indistinct" report.

Mr Davies said: "Despite promises and investment, waiting times continue to get worse yet this document contains no guarantees they will be reduced."

Plaid Cymru Health Spokesperson Elin Jones agreed that there was little detail in the government's report and expressed her disappointment that there was no mention for district general hospitals.

In her response to Ms Jones, Ms Griffiths stated clearly that no district general hospitals would close in Wales.

Liberal Democrat Leader Kirsty Williams also criticised the report and insisted that the government had not moved on since the assembly government's Designed for Life report back in 2005.

The minister concluded: "This document is not just our vision - there is growing acceptance of the need for change and Together for Health has been developed with clinicians and health unions."

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