Wales Council of the Blind

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Act Now To Save People's Sight - Plaid Cymru

Following the recent report on BBC Wales about delays to vital sight saving treatment, Plaid Cymru has called for action.

The party has issued the following statement:

  • Plaid Cymru has stepped up the call for a new deal for eye services in Wales, with a demand by the party's Swansea and Gower organisation for the setting up of regional eye care centres to counter fears of growing instances of blindness.
  • In a letter to First Minister Mark Drakeford and health secretary Eluned Morgan, Plaid Cymru says that latest Welsh Government figures showing that 75,000 people in Wales on waiting lists are now at risk of losing their sight can no longer be ignored.
  • Plaid Cymru spokesman Dr Dai Lloyd said that the huge growth in waiting lists in recent years cries out for drastic action. "While the Covid pandemic has made things worse, the sad truth is that we were barely keeping up with the eye care crisis before", said Dr Lloyd, former Senedd Member for South-west Wales, in a letter to the two ministers. "Now we are at a stage where marginal improvements to existing services just won't do. The Welsh Government's own statistics show that current policies are failing, and that a new deal is needed. To tackle this threat to people's eyesight, we need a network of regional centres of excellence, dedicated to reducing the waiting lists to zero and ensuring prompt treatment where it is needed. Plaid Cymru backs the Royal College of Ophthalmologists in Wales, whose president Dr Gwyn Williams has called for urgent action on the external review of eye care in 2021, which showed that Wales had some of the lowest numbers of eye specialists anywhere in the UK, Dr Lloyd added in his letter.