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Waiting time lottery remains.

Byline: ERYL CRUMP

THE length of time patients are forced to wait for a hospital appointment in Wales continues to differ widely from one health board to another, Welsh Government shadow health minister said last night.

New figures show a total of 403,185 people were waiting for the start of their treatment at the end of July.

No-one had been waiting longer than 36 weeks within Powys Health Board and in Aneurin Bevan - which at over 94,000 had the highest number of patients waiting during July - only eight had not been seen within the 36 week target.

In the Betsi Cadwaladr Trust 3,779 had been waiting more than 26 weeks with a further 89 waiting more than 36 weeks.

At the Hywel Dda Trust the figures showed 2,405 patients had been waiting wore than 26 weeks and 166 had been waiting longer than 36 weeks.

The figure did not exceed 450 in any other health board.

Commenting on the figures Shadow Minister for Health, Darren Millar AM, said: "How long you are forced to wait for treatment continues to depend upon where you live and that's simply not acceptable.

"Waiting times differ wildly and - given the great success of Aneurin Bevan - do not depend on numbers of patients.

"Labour's record-breaking cuts to the health budget are creating immense pressure and pulling the rug out from under the feet of our health boards.

"Our NHS requires speedy investment and improvement - not cash starvation and destruction."
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 14, 2012
Words:248
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