NHS money must be better spent – Kirsty Williams

2011 Rhagfyr 1 11:47 AM

Responding to the news that Health boards face a potential shortfall of nearly £50m, despite a warning from the Welsh government that they will not be bailed out, Kirsty Williams, Leader of Welsh Liberal Democrats:

"Every year, Local Health Boards in Wales are bailed out for not meeting their financial targets and the Health Minister is right to warn the Health Boards of the consequences of not breaking even. It is no longer the time of plenty and LHBs will have to be more financially prudent in the future.

"However, the Health Minister needs to take responsibility for this financial crisis herself as there are cost pressures right across Wales that could be alleviated if better direction and cost saving measures were initiated by the Labour Government.

"All the LHBs face similar cost-pressures such as paying vast amounts to agency staff and locum doctors because the Welsh Government doesn't have an all-Wales recruitment drive. There are too many inconsistencies in efficiency and performance across the seven LHBs. If one LHB can break even or meet its targets, why can't others follow best practice?

"There are many ways in which the Health Minister could better spend our money in the NHS and the Conservative answer of throwing more money at the service is not viable given our financial situation.

"The Labour Government hasn't taken the lead on how to take the pressure off NHS finances and unless they act now, the NHS will face crisis point in a few years' time"

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