It's a much repeated mantra amongst the leaders of Labour-affiliated trade unions in Wales "The NHS is under attack... in England" But, as was explained at the Wales Shop Stewards Network Conference at the weekend, Wales faces cuts in health spending as bad as or worse than any area of England.
It seems that immediate confirmation of this fact has arrived today with the news of the closure of Afallon Ward at Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth. Shortages of qualified staff threaten, according to a statement made by the Health Board to BBC Wales, the ability to provide "appropriate and safe care for patients on that ward".
Earlier this year concerned Aberystwyth residents travelled to Cardiff to lobby the Welsh Government over fears that services would be lost from the hospital. Bronglais is part of the same local health board, Hywel Dda, as Prince Phillip Hospital in Llanelli where residents are fighting to retain their accident and emergency unit and last month held their own lobby of the Assembly.
It is vital that NHS campaigners link up, first on a health board basis and then across the whole of Wales, to take their fight to the Labour Welsh Government and demand they stop passing on Tory cuts. Trade unionists in Wales need to demand that leaders stop trying to hide the scale of cuts taking place to Welsh health services.
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