Speaking up last Saturday at the strawberry tea organised by the League of Friends of Prince Philip Hospital, Nia praised the Friends for their outstanding commitment to the hospital, and spoke of the 65th anniversary of the NHS. She said,
“ The NHS was founded sixty-five years ago by Nye Bevan, a Welshman serving in a Labour Government that recognised Britain needed a health service that was available to everyone according to their need and regardless of their ability to pay. The NHS remains an incredible institution to this day, envied by people across the world, and it is rightfully one of Britain’s, and Labour’s, proudest achievements. The Commonwealth Fund, – the independent US based health policy think tank, has rated the NHS as one of the best, most efficient health services in the world.
That does not mean to say that there are never any problems, and we need to be open and honest about these and put them right. And there are significant challenges for the future, as medical advances mean that we are living longer. But we in Wales remain committed to maintaining the fundamental founding principles of the NHS – namely, a service that is publicly funded, publicly provided and free at the point of delivery. It is a service that we should never take for granted, and we should be prepared to defend.”