BMA Cymru Wales Chair Dr Iona Collins said:
“Today’s figures - which show that more than 30,000 people in Wales are waiting more than two years for treatment - are a stark reminder of the NHS’ failings in Wales.
“The NHS requires staff and resources to deliver timely treatment, and it is clear we are being failed on both fronts. Our members have been highlighting the stark gaps in the NHS workforce for years, but we are still waiting for the necessary data collection to understand vacancy rates. Without this baseline data, we have no foundation upon which to build a properly staffed and effective service in Wales.
“We know that the massive NHS waiting lists in Wales would not exist if we had enough staff and resources to deliver the service. It stands to reason, therefore that we need to incentivise doctors to come and work and stay in NHS Wales and equip them with the tools to deliver the service.
“Wales has the highest sickness rate out of the whole of the UK labour market with a sickness absence rate of 3.5%* recorded last year*. Rising levels of people out of work, record-high waiting lists and NHS staff shortages are affecting Wales’ economy in a cost-of-living crisis. Urgent action is needed now to improve the nation’s health”
Notes to editors
*Wales has the highest sickness rate out of the whole of the UK labour market with a sickness absence rate of 3.5%* recorded last year