Only 5 medical vacancies filled in 6 months

2012 Hydref 16 3:32 PM

The Welsh Labour Government's health recruitment campaign has filled just five vacancies since it was first launched, according to a letter from the Health Minister to the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, Kirsty Williams.

Despite the recruitment drive being launched in February, the letter from the Health Minister revealed that in January 2012 there were 214 medical vacancies in Wales and in June 2012, there were 209 vacancies.

The First Minister failed this afternoon to defend his campaign in the chamber when challenged by Kirsty Williams about why it had been so ineffective.

Kirsty Williams AM said:

"The First Minister confidently told me a year ago that the doctor recruitment campaign would fill most doctor vacancies across Wales. Six months after its launch, there has been a net increase of only five vacancies. At this rate of progress, it would take him 20 years to address Wales' shortage.

"It is astonishing that a campaign can be quite so unsuccessful. The Welsh Labour Government refused to set any targets for their campaign, but that is no excuse at all for completely failing to tackle this problem head on.

"There is an acute doctor shortage across the whole of Wales. These worrying figures are having a real impact on patient care - but still we have to put up with a sluggish Labour Government that fails to deliver for the people of Wales."

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