A Plaid Cymru MS has raised fears that a flagship hospital may become harder to reach when bus funding is withdrawn.
Peredur Owen Griffiths told the Senedd that The Grange Hospital near Cwmbran is already inaccessible for many communities as things stand.
During questions to the Health Minister, the South Wales East MS asked what concerns were there about the £350m becoming harder to reach.
He said: “Minister, one of the primary considerations for the location of a new hospital should be whether it is accessible for all patients, staff and visitors alike.
“The Grange hospital, near Cwmbran, may be a modern hospital, but it is, in fact, difficult to access for many of the communities it's meant to serve.
“We saw this when my Plaid Cymru colleagues Councillors Steve Skivens and Charlotte Bishop, both councillors representing Caerphilly—one in Penyrheol and one in the Aber valley—attempted to get to the hospital from Abertridwr using public transport.
“It took them two buses, more than two hours and at a cost of more than £9 each to get there. With the Government withdrawing pandemic funding for bus companies later this year, and the predictions of a catastrophic fallout for many bus services, the Grange hospital could become even more difficult for anyone not travelling by private motor vehicle.”
He added: “What consideration have you given to improving access to hospitals for those without motor vehicles? Do you share the concerns of Plaid Cymru about the fallout from the withdrawal of funding for bus companies from the perspective of accessing health services?”
In response, the Health Minister said the government has been “concerned” about access to The Grange and that funding had recently been provided to improve matters.
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