A few years ago my wife use to attend an out patients clinic in Morriston Hospital Swansea. The trip from Conwy use to take about six hours each way. Because of the distance we would have to go down the day before the appointment and come back they day after. Our children would have to come with us, causing them to miss three days school. The cost was extortionate, the inconvenience was worse.
The outpatients visits were sort of pre-operative, one had to attend the clinic in order for the doctor to juggle where one was on the op-list. The inconvenience of the trip was just too much for my wife, the kids and me. My wife elected to come off the list and to die with the condition that she was being seen for.
A triumph for the Labour Party - another one off the waiting list - hooray! A long drawn out tragedy for my family and me.
My wife is off the waiting list but she is still seriously ill and still severely disabled by her health problem, she just isn't one of the statistics any more!
The idea that people can travel from the north Wales coast to the south Wales coast for treatments, of any sort, is ridiculous. But treatment in Liverpool isn't the answer either. It may be convenient for David Jones' MP's constituents to go to Liverpool from Prestatyn, but Liverpool is as difficult to get to from Aberdyfi as is Swansea!
The problem that the Health Service in north Wales has is too many small coastal hospitals, none of which can give a decent provision in the modern world. Bangor, Bodelwyddan, Aberystwyth and Wrexham are tiddler hospitals. What the north needs is one major league hospital in a central location, Bala, Dolgellau, Denbigh, Blaenau or Llanrwst, that is the equal too, if not better than, Cardiff's University Hospital.
Unfortunately no AM or MP would agree to support the closure of their local tiddler hospital in order to create one major league hospital in central north Wales. Any movement towards creating a Super Hospital in central north Wales would be opposed by the selfish brigade who want to keep their hospitals in their community.
But unless we give up our parochial attitudes and accept the need for one centre of excellence hospital in central north Wales, the trips to Swansea, Cardiff, Liverpool, Birmingham and even London are going to continue.