Wales politics

NHS faces difficult challenges, says Vaughan Gething

Vaughan Gething
Image caption We've got to have an honest conversation about the challenges, says Mr Gething

The new health secretary has said the Welsh NHS faces difficult challenges, but he is optimistic about the future.

In his first interview since being promoted, Vaughan Gething said helping people live healthier lives would help manage the growing demand from an ageing population.

He told BBC Wales' The Wales Report programme that more hospital services could be moved into the community.

"I'm always guided by the best interests of patients," he said.

Mr Gething confirmed that Labour's agreement with Plaid Cymru would mean prioritising policies both parties supported, such as a fund for new treatments and a drive to boost GP numbers.

But he added that a review of the long-term future of Welsh NHS would need the input of other parties.

"We've got to have an honest conversation about different challenges," Mr Gething said.

"Any re-organisation has to be about improving outcomes for patients," he added, saying more services could be provided in the community rather than in hospitals.

Mr Gething, who had been deputy health minister before May's election, also said he did not see the need for a "greater role" for the private sector in the Welsh NHS.

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