Welsh Government's Health Technologies Fund mistakes

May 20, 2013 5:08 PM

The Welsh Government seems to have a department or official for every head of population, and with so many announcements on spending, some decisions can be overlooked.

Lesley Griffiths, the Welsh Government's Health Minister, announced in January there was to be a £25m boost for the Welsh NHS. This money was supposed to be spent on making available new technologies and treatments which were previously unavailable on the NHS. But Kirsty Williams, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, has criticised the Welsh Government for their short sighted use of public funds.

The £25 million was going to be used in three blocks: one of £5m in 2012-13, and then two further instalments of £10 million in 2013-14 and 2014-15 respectively. Instead of the money going to the treatments it was allocated to,  it has so far been used to replace outdated NHS equipment.

Lesley Griffiths, when launching the initiative in January, stated “if we are to achieve our aim of a safe, sustainable and high quality health service for Wales, investment in innovation is vital." But now Kirsty Williams has stated that "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."

Overall for the Welsh population, what this means is that the prospect of new treatments funded by £25m of taxpayers' funds have been put on hold with the funds being redirected into replacing equipment. This is a true example of Welsh NHS failing to manage their budgets and the Welsh Government not delivering for taxpayers.

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