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Health Minister not going to investigate £1billion inefficiency claim. - Kirstyk

November 12, 2009 12:08 PM

Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats has reacted with anger and astonishment after the Health Minister decided that she is not going to investigate the claims made by the chair of the All Wales Directors of NHS Finance that a billion pounds of NHS money is not being spent effectively.

In a curt reply to Kirsty Williams, who asked whether the Health Minister was going to investigate the claim made by one of the most senior NHS Wales Finance directors about his comments during a Finance Committee meeting on NHS budget, Edwina Heat said 'No.'

Kirsty Williams said:

"I am absolutely appalled by the Health Minister's reluctance to investigate these assertions. We are not talking about a few pound coins down the back of the sofa. We are talking about a billion pounds of public money being misspent in one of the most important areas of Welsh life.

"One of the Health Minister's most senior financial directors admitted in committee that 'far too many patients end up in the wrong place, either being hospitalised when they shouldn't be, or they stay in hospital too long, or they stay in primary care, and they should be in hospital, all those mistakes are extremely costly, very expensive.'

"This raises very serious questions about the strategic management of our NHS and its ability to deliver value for Welsh taxpayers' money. We've already seen this week that the Health Minister is reluctant to say how much her costly reorganization of the NHS is going to save. I want the Health Minister's assurance that public money is being spent in the most effective way that benefits the health of the people of Wales.

"We all know that public spending is due to come under intense pressure in the next few years and the Health Minister's reluctance to even look into the claim that a billion pounds is not being effectively spent is shocking. Every million pounds, let alone every billion pounds must be working to the direct benefit of Welsh patients."