YOUR AM WRITES: South Wales East AM Mohammad Ashgar

First published in

M4 relief road - Regular commuters will be familiar with the almost daily gridlock on stretches of the M4, which continues to cause misery. I have long campaigned for an M4 relief road around Newport to ease pressure and provide an alternative.

Just one collision can cause chaos and even close the motorway for hours at a time, but there is no suitable alternative.

Now Conservatives in Government have intervened to facilitate the building of an M4 relief road by providing a new means of paying for it.

Environmental assessments should be undertaken swiftly and Labour Ministers must get on with building this relief road to prevent the entire economy of South Wales being held back.

Cancer Drugs Fund

There are 24 cancer medicines, which are denied to Welsh patients on grounds of cost, but are readily available to patients in England.

Labour’s refusal to set up a Cancer Drugs Fund has resulted in a postcode lottery for many of Wales’ most vulnerable cancer patients.

Figures from the Rarer Cancers Foundation show that the Welsh NHS spends £1,000 less on cancer treatments per patient.

Cancer patients face a double whammy of less spending on cancer treatments and a postcode lottery in access to life-extending medicines.

It is grossly unfair that a millionaire can get paracetamol for free yet vital medicines are being denied to patients, which could give them the gift of a longer life to spend with their loved ones.

Our Cancer Treatments Fund plan costs just £5million, but could make a massive difference to Welsh cancer patients.

Keogh-style inquiry

Welsh Conservatives have been calling for a Keogh-style inquiry into high death rates in Welsh hospitals, similar to the inquiry undertaken into Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust in England, led by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh.

A similar inquiry in Wales could help identify and address any shortcomings in patient care and help drive up standards.

I believe that any evidence of failings in care or potential to drive up standards should be grasped by Ministers and senior clinicians to improve the NHS experience for patients.

Openness and transparency drive up standards and a Keogh-style inquiry into high death rates could help identify and address any failings.

I will continue to campaign for an inquiry into NHS standards to improve conditions for both staff and patients.

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