Monmouth MP David Davies has floated the idea of patients in Wales being permitted to use the English NHS.
The Conservative MP spoke in the Welsh Assembly on the matter.
Davies stated that he is concerned that patients in Wales are receiving a significantly lower-quality service than patients over the border.
The 46 year-old pointed to figures showing longer waiting times and higher mortality rates under the Welsh NHS.
When the Welsh Assembly was formed in 1999, the NHS was among the first group of responsibilities to be devolved.
But Davies believes that the Labour Party has been responsible for the disparity in health service delivery in Wales.s
“I find it extraordinary that Labour members have the audacity to come into the chamber and trumpet their views about the National Health Service when they know that they have had 18 years of running the NHS in another part of the UK and that, on any of the performance indicators that are looked at, the NHS in Wales is performing less well than the NHS in England,” Davies commented.
However, the Welsh MP was at pains to point out that NHS staff in the nation are doing an outstanding job. Davies also suggested that there had been funding cuts in real-terms in Wales.
“I do not for one minute want anyone to think that I am criticising NHS staff, the nurses and doctors, because I am not, and I am not running down Wales either, because I know exactly where the blame lies. It lies at the feet of the Labour Party. But Wales is the only part of the UK where funding for the National Health Service has been reduced. In England it has been going up.”
He also claimed constituents had told him they had been forced to stay with family members living in England to get access to treatment or drugs not available in Wales.
“If opposition members think that the Welsh NHS, the policies of which they want to follow, is as good as the English National Health Service, they should allow patients to choose. I constantly write to my colleagues on the front bench asking them to allow patients from Wales to access the National Health Service that they are delivering so well in England.”
Responding to the claims, a Welsh Government spokeswoman suggested that assertions made by the MP regarding funding were ill-founded.
“Official UK Government figures released just last week revealed that the amount spent per person on health and social services in Wales was £2,696, six per cent higher than in England, demonstrating our commitment to provide the best possible care. People here are feeling the benefits of this investment, with our recent annual survey showing that overall patient satisfaction within the NHS in Wales remains extremely high.”
The annual budget of the NHS in Wales is £6 billion, with the country employing 72,000 in the health service.