‘Report highlights huge strain our NHS is under’- Aled Roberts

July 16, 2013 9:41 AM

Commenting on today's publication of the Wales Audit Office report on 'Health Finances 2012-13 and Beyond', Aled Roberts, who is a member of the Public Accounts Committee, said:

"The Welsh Labour Government explicitly warned that it would not bailout Health Boards that lost control of their finances. Yet, the Welsh Labour Government went back on its word and dished out additional funding totalling £92 million. As the report acknowledges, this inconsistency sends out unhelpful mixed messages.

"The Welsh NHS is under a colossal amount of strain. The report notes that the NHS is likely to struggle to sustain current levels of service and performance. Wales has the longest ambulance waiting times in any part of mainland UK, cancer waiting times not met since 2008 and A&E targets that have never been met. To think some of our NHS services could continue to deteriorate further is shocking.

"Thetruth is the Welsh Labour Government has catastrophically mismanaged our NHS and it is the people of Wales who are paying the price for Labour's failure. How can we expect Health Boards to be financially prudent when, as the report acknowledges, there are unfunded commitments in the Welsh Labour Government's manifesto and Programme for Government?

"Of course it's important that Health Boards meet their financial targets. But this isn't just about money, it's people's lives that we are talking about. The report highlights that NHS bodies reduced activity to help manage financial pressures. I found it particularly galling last week when the Health Minister congratulated Health Boards on their 'careful financial management'. This is despite knowing that Betsi Cadwaladr UHB was only able to do so by allowing waiting lists to grow and cancelling routine operations."

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