Welsh government wants Welsh speakers in health care21st November 2012
The Welsh government has unveiled plans to strengthen the use of the Welsh language in health and social care.
It says the strategy aims to offer Welsh speaking citizens a greater opportunity to express themselves in their first language.
However, while the British Medical Association has said it is in favour of the plan, it has stressed that the Welsh language should not be a priority when delivering health care.
Health Minister Lesley Griffiths said the government wanted to ensure patients and their families had the opportunity to use Welsh when receiving treatment or care.
She said: “We all feel more comfortable discussing personal health and emotional matters in our first language.
“This framework is a key step to increasing not only the physical and mental wellbeing of Welsh speakers who need access to health and social care services, but also their emotional wellbeing.”
Deputy first minister Gwenda Thomas made the point that many Welsh speakers were only able to effectively express their care needs in Welsh, particularly those suffering from dementia, stroke patients and some young children.
The Welsh government’s strategy said that the challenge of addressing the shortage of Welsh speaking staff must be overcome, though acknowledges it was “no easy task.”
The strategy states: “It is worth considering whether language skills could be identified in the same way as gender balance is considered within staff teams in service areas such as home care, stroke and dementia services.”
Cymdeithas yr Iaith (the Welsh Language Society) has supported the plans.
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Title: Welsh government wants Welsh speakers in health care
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 23199
Date Added: 21st Nov 2012