As he responded to Sir Keir Starmer’s attacks in Prime Minister’s Questions today, Rishi Sunak highlighted the NHS in Labour-run Wales was suffering from long ambulance wait times.
On the same day that thousands of nurses across the country walked out in protest of pay and working conditions, the health service took centre stage in the Commons debate.
Starmer repeatedly pressed the PM on how long constituents in England would have to wait before receiving care.
“It’s three minutes past twelve,” Starmer said. When would the Prime Minister expect an ambulance to arrive if someone dialled 911 right now because they were experiencing chest pains and suspected they were having a heart attack? ”
Sunak avoided answering the question before Starmer said the crisis facing the NHS is the fault of Rishi Sunak.
The Prime Minister quipped back: “Mr Speaker I mention the one place the honourable gentleman didn’t notice was Wales, where we know ambulance times are even worse than they are in England.”
He continued: “The reason this is the case, is because it’s not about politics. This is about the fact that the NHS in Scotland, in Wales, in England, is facing unprecedented challenges. Recovering from Covid, dealing with a very virulent and early flu season and everyone is doing their best to bring those wait times down.”
Union leaders have claimed that underinvestment has put additional strain on the NHS.
They argue that higher pay would aid in employee retention.
Ambulance workers are also expected to announce new strike dates in the coming days.
It means that paramedics will most likely only visit those who are in danger of dying.