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Welsh NHS faces financial crisis

Published on 01/12/2011

Welsh NHS boards are predicted to go £50m into debt, as the Welsh government has warned that they will not be bailed out again. This could have a negative effect on NHS patients as hospitals try and save money by cutting back.

Health Minister Lesley Griffiths offered local health boards (LHBs) an extra £103m in October, but NHS managers will now be held accountable for the financial management of their organisations.

Welsh Health Boards are facing £50m of debt

Local Health Boards are legally obliged to break even at the end of every financial year, but the Welsh NHS Confederation has warned that the scale of this challenge should not be underestimated.

Only one of the seven health boards, Betsi Cadwaladr in North Wales, is predicting it will break even at the end of the financial year in March.

After money from the Government, Cardiff and Vale is predicting a shortfall of around £14m. Aneurin Bevan says it is looking at a worst case scenario of £13m. Cwm Taf is forecasting a shortfall of £9.5m. Hywel Dda faces a £4m deficit, and Powys is projecting an overspend of around £3m.

In an interview with BBC Radio Wales last week, Lesley Griffiths said she had "spelled out very clearly that they (LHBs) must come in on financial target this year".

"We haven't got any more money and they know that and they really know that they have to hit their financial targets.”

With the health boards in financial crisis, it is the patients who are going to suffer the consequences of the staggering NHS debts. Already, NHS waiting times are increasing, GPs are blacklisting expensive drugs, and hospitals are breaching mixed sex ward guidelines.

Patients with private medical insurance will remain largely unaffected by the Welsh NHS deficit. Medical insurance allows you to be treated in a private hospital of your choice, with a specialist of your choice.

Compare health insurance policies online now to avoid the consequences of the government debt.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011

Categories:  NHS and Hospitals
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