Health Board urged to consider specific needs of rural communities when determining Covid testing sites
Plaid Cymru Member of Parliament Liz Saville Roberts has called on Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to establish dedicated local community testing centres for people living in the Dwyfor and Meirionnydd area who present with symptoms of Covid-19.
Whilst the Health Board has committed to opening a testing centre in Bangor, there remains no permanent provision for those living in Dwyfor and Meirionnydd, with the nearest alternative operational testing centres in Aberystwyth and Llandudno.
Liz Saville Roberts MP said,
‘Given the crucial need for wider testing, surely now is the time to look at establishing dedicated community testing centres to provide the wider population of Gwynedd with accessible, local facilities to get tested.’
'With cases on the increase and a challenging winter very likely, people living in my large, rural constituency deserve assurances that should they become unwell and require a test, then they would have ready access to one as close to their home as possible.'
'There is a fundamental question here of how best to provide a testing service to the wider public. If it is already possible to test some people within their community, one must question the reasoning behind requiring others to travel further distances?’
‘Many people seeking tests will already be unwell, and the additional journey otherwise imposed on them seems lacking in compassion as well as unnecessary.’
'Bangor for example, is distant to much of the population of Dwyfor and Meirionnydd, which is the most southerly region of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board area.'
'What is preventing the greater use of Ysbyty Alltwen, Tremadog, for testing members of the public as well as key workers?'
'I understand that the Health Board are already prepared to offer tests to the public if they cannot access tests elsewhere, but it is unclear how people are informed of this arrangement, and how they request tests.'
'The Welsh government should make good on their promise that every person should have access to a testing facility within twenty miles of their home - as yet, that commitment has not materialised.'