NORTH WALES MS Sam Rowlands has made his pledges as he's appointed Shadow Health Minister.

Mr Rowlands was elected to the Senedd in 2021, representing North Wales. He has served as Shadow Minister for Local Government since then.

Welsh Conservatives leader Andrew RT Davies MS has today (April 18) announced a new Shadow Cabinet, with Mr Rowlands MS taking over as Shadow Health Minister.

Mr Rowlands says that among his pledges in his new role will be to help improve waiting times in Welsh hospitals.

Sam Rowlands MS said: “I am grateful to Andrew (RT Davies) for the new role, and I’m looking forward to working with health services and holding the Welsh Government to account.

“Thanks to the Labour Welsh Government’s chronic underfunding of the Welsh NHS, we have the longest waiting lists in Great Britain.

“I’ll be pushing hard for Welsh Labour to focus on training and hiring more doctors, instead of wasting money by putting more politicians in the Welsh Parliament.”

In her latest response to the NHS Wales performance data for February and March 2024, cabinet secretary Eluned Morgan stated that 'six of the seven health boards have hit the target to ensure 97% of all waits are less than 104 weeks'.

However, she added that the 'overall waiting list increased in size' after three consecutive falls.

Mrs Morgan said: "Despite significant demand on our NHS and some disruption from industrial action NHS staff have worked tirelessly to deliver high-quality care and continue to reduce long waiting times.

"The latest figures show, six of the seven health boards have hit the target to ensure 97% of all waits are less than 104 weeks. And the number of pathways waiting more than two years fell again – for the 23rd month in a row. The average waiting time for treatment is now around 21 weeks.

"It is also disappointing to see the overall waiting list increase in size after three consecutive falls, but this is not surprising as we saw strike action in February.

"There is still a lot of work to do to improve waiting times and NHS performance. We must focus on improving productivity and efficiency in the NHS – some health boards need to do better.

"I’m disappointed to see long stays in emergency departments have increased. I expect health boards to renew their focus on reducing long stays in emergency departments, particularly for frail and older people."