NHS Wales in a 'catch-22'12th July 2012
The NHS in Wales is facing a funding crisis, according to a spending watchdog.
The report from the Wales Audit Office (WAO) says the health service in Wales is in a “catch 22” situation because its current services are unaffordable but there may not be sufficient funds to pay for major reforms at a time that it also needs to make savings of up to £1bn between 2010/11 and 2014/15.
While the watchdog said it must change to become more cost effective, it will also have to take into account the cost of reform.
Auditor General Huw Vaughan Thomas said: “In short, even after the very significant savings already made, the status quo is simply unaffordable and there have to be service changes to secure its long term future.”
Plans are already in hand for some health boards to centralise services, though they face capital funding being cut by 36%.
The WAO report says: “The challenge is that there is a catch-22: the status quo is unaffordable but the process of delivering the reform itself carries a cost that may be difficult to fund.
“There is, therefore, a major challenge for the NHS and Welsh government to identify the costs of reform and the options to fund it.”
Health Minister Lesley Griffiths said she was pleased the auditor general recognised the approach to introducing a more flexible system to NHS financing which removed the dependency on end-year bailouts.
Four health boards had help to balance their books at the end of the last financial year.
Share this page
There are no comments for this article, be the first to comment!
Post your comment
Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.
Title: NHS Wales in a 'catch-22'
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 22328
Date Added: 12th Jul 2012