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Thursday, 15 March, 2001, 14:05 GMT
Plaid Cymru health policies

Find out more about Plaid Cymru health policies.

Health is a largely devolved matter dealt with by the Welsh Assembly and Executive. Westminster retains responsibility for regulatory matters such as the health professions.


GENERAL POLICY

Plaid Cymru says that there is a clear link between poverty and social disadvantage in Wales and illness and health and social care policies should be geared towards tackling these problems.

The party says that Wales deserves proportionally higher health care resources than other parts of the UK because of the legacy of poor health left behind by heavy industry and the principality's current record in tackling cancers, lung and heart diseases.

NHS trusts should be abolished along with any other last remnants of the internal market in health care established by the Conservatives.


HEALTH INEQUALITIES

The party has pledged to tackle inequalities in health care by looking at deprived communities and ethnic minority communities.

Plaid said last year that it would make the treatment of heart disease and cancer a priority.

It has also made a commitment to better provision for mental health.

Education in sexual health, nutrition and cooking, and the promotion of sports will be emphasised.

And Plaid have said they will link health policy with housing, transport and education policies.


CAPACITY

NHS funding should be improved, says Plaid.

Plaid Cymru says Wales has lost out because of inadequate investment which has failed to take into account its special health needs.

It believes that the Welsh Assembly administration has failed to develop a strategy which has taken the principality's needs, such as scattered settlements and greater distances between towns and cities.

The party prefers community hospitals rather than primary care trusts, saying there is a case for "co-operative clinical networks. It also wants Wales to have its own specialist children's hospital.


OTHER POLICIES

The party opposes tax incentives for taking out private health care, saying that it wants to tackle the "slide towards private provision".

It also says that the practice of allowing NHS consultants to work in the private sector is a "subsidy" of the private sector by NHS staff.

Plaid Cymru want greater co-ordination between the NHS and social services.

The party supports the recommendations of the Royal Commission into long-term care which recommended that that state should pay for both personal and nursing costs for the elderly in nursing and residential homes.

It condemns the distinction made between personal care in hospitals, which is free, and in care homes, where it is means tested.

The party says that the Wales Children's Commissioner, born out of the investigations into institutional child abuse, should have "maximum powers" to investigate cases, protect children and raise the status and standard of social workers.

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