This follows leaked reports that the Health Board were unsure of whether or not they would be able to attract enough doctors to the service following the introduction of new taxation rules by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs which could lead to doctors paying more tax on their earnings. Hywel Dda Health Board has made it clear that should these new rules affect the recruitment of GPs to the service then priority would be given to Glangwili, Bronglais and Withybush Hospitals, with Llanelli and Llandysul seeing their services scrapped.
Addressing the concerns of Llanelli residents, Nia Griffith MP said:
“In response to concerns about the future of the out-of-hours GP service at Prince Philip Hospital, where you can go when your GP surgery is not open, I immediately contacted the Health Board and made it very clear that we are not going to allow any erosion of services.
I have spoken with the Deputy Chief Executive of the Health Board who explained to me that the closing of some tax loopholes means that doctors providing the out-of-hours service at Prince Philip hospital and elsewhere will have to pay more tax on those earnings, and the worry is that this might make it less attractive to do the work.
I stressed to him that the Health Board must do everything they possibly can to ensure that they continue to attract doctors to do the work. They must also be proactive about securing doctors’ services and offer terms and conditions which attract doctors.
I repeatedly stressed that we must keep this frontline service in Llanelli and that it would be out of the question to expect people to go to Glangwili. Llanelli might not be a priority for the Health Board, however, it is my number one priority. I will be keeping the pressure up on them and asking for regular updates.”