As the old saying goes, “prevention is better than cure.” A saying especially true when you consider the incredibly high pressures that our health and social care sector is under.


Every week there seems to be some story in the news regarding the very real impact these pressures are having on patients across Wales.


That is why I am putting forward a short debate this week on the importance of protecting our primary care practices including GP and dental services.


It is clear that our primary care services are being asked to do far too much with far too little.


Sadly, the extra demands on our GP surgeries have not been funded with either equipment or time, with many surgeries providing services out of a desire to help their local community.


However, this has been taken for granted, with practices being expected to do more and more to help alleviate the growing pressures on secondary care services in Wales.


As a result of their current financial and staffing issues, GP practices are having to withdraw many of their services.


Data released under the Freedom of Information Act to Aneurin Bevan University Health Board revealed that 7 practices in the health board have withdrawn form Enhanced Services in the last year.


This means that constituents are having to travel 50-mile round trips to get to a hospital for a service that was previously offered by their local GP.


The solution is clear. We need to ensure our primary care services are properly funded to guarantee people in Wales get the care they need.


I am concerned that our primary care sector is being left behind because of the ever-increasing pressures on our secondary care services.


I have long called for a root and branch approach to secondary care, ensuring every pound spent in our NHS is used effectively. This would free up money that can be used to fund primary care services across Wales.


I hope the Welsh Government listens to concerns from myself and the sector to ensure our primary care services get the support they need.