Welsh Conservatives are calling for urgent action to be taken to improve services to tackle liver disease in Wales in Senedd debate.
Commenting on the news, Shadow Minister for Social Justice, Joel James MS said:
“The simple truth is this is yet another preventable public health emergency happening under Labour’s watch.
“The shocking levels of inequality in Labour’s Wales is leading to a disproportionate number of people from deprived backgrounds being diagnosed with liver disease.
“To make matters worse, while Labour ministers dither and delay on implementing a cancer plan in Wales, liver cancer rates have almost doubled in 10 years making it the fastest rising cause of cancer deaths.
“Labour ministers must double the size of the hepatology workforce to address the huge variation in access to specialist care in Wales.”
Figures have revealed that, despite 90% of liver disease being preventable, the number of people dying from the disease has increased by 400% since 1970 in people aged 65 and under. Liver cancer has become the fastest rising cause of cancer death in the UK.
60% of all liver disease is alcohol-related, with those living in deprived areas up to 6 times more likely to die from alcohol-related liver disease than those in wealthier areas.
The number of people in Wales classified as overweight or obsess grows by 10,000 a year, thereby increasing the number of people at risk of liver disease.