A long-term solution should be found to the ongoing row over cross-border healthcare to protect Welsh patients, Jane Dodds and the Welsh Liberal Democrats have said.
The Welsh Health Minister has confirmed that cross-border healthcare arrangements are now in place for 2019/20.
But Jane and the Welsh Lib Dems want to see a longer-term settlement to avoid future rows, such as the recent decision taken by the Countess of Chester hospital to refuse Welsh patients.
People across Brecon and Radnorshire rely on hospitals across the border for routine appointments and operations, and Jane Dodds wants to ensure that their right to access care isn't affected by avoidable rows.
Jane Dodds, the Welsh Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Brecon and Radnorshire, said:
“I’m glad that an agreement has apparently been reached that will guarantee cross-border health services for another year, and very much hope that Chester’s hospital will respect it.
”But as this agreement only lasts for a year, there’s currently very little stopping us ending up in exactly the same situation next year. As the example in Chester shows, the protocols that are meant to be in place aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.
“The Welsh Lib Dems demand better than this uncertainty. The health ministers in London and Cardiff need to get together urgently and work out a longer-term solution; one which puts patients first and doesn’t let English hospitals withdraw care without notice.”
Last month Jane wrote to Conservative Health Secretary Matt Hancock, asking for reassurance that the ongoing row would not impact on Powys patients. He is yet to respond.