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‘Welsh Government mustn’t repeat previous mistakes on Health Technologies Fund’ – Kirsty Williams AM

May 7, 2013 4:40 PM

Following the announcement of the second phase of the Health Technologies Fund, Kirsty Williams has urged the Welsh Labour Government not to repeat its previous mistakes by ensuring that this time the fund is used for innovative equipment.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have long argued for increased investment in modern medicines and treatments in Wales' NHS. In budget negotiations last year, the party proposed their idea of an innovative treatments fund, which the Welsh Government agreed to take forward. However, much of the first phase of spending was eventually used to replace already existing, outdated equipment. The Welsh Government has today announced that the second round of funding, worth £10 million, is now available and is inviting Health Boards to submit applications for the fund.

Kirsty Williams AM, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, commented:

"The Welsh Labour Government completely missed the point of the fund the first time around, I hope it doesn't repeat the same mistakes again.

"The Welsh Liberal Democrats proposed the idea of the fund as we wanted to offer patients better access to innovative treatments that were not routinely available on the Welsh NHS. Disappointingly, so far the Welsh Labour Government has lacked ambition and has simply used the fund to replace existing, outdated equipment. This money should be used to extend the availability of new medicines and fund modern equipment that we don't already have.

"This money can make a real difference. I urge Local Health Boards to make ambitious applications that can bring forward new innovative ways to treat patients in Wales."