As reported by Wales Online, Labour's Health Minister Mark Drakeford, speaking ahead of his speech to the Welsh NHS Confederation's conference, has made the astounding claim that a fifth of what the NHS currently does either does no good or actually causes harm to patients.
The article reports
Prof Drakeford said that, at a time of austerity, it was important that the NHS focuses on what would work for patients and make the most effective use of available resources.
He said: "Prudent healthcare is a relatively new idea.
"The first principle is one which is well recognised, which is to do no harm. We all agree on that but there are things that, if the health service goes on doing, will either do no good to people or actually do harm - for example with healthcare acquired infections. Of course, these actions are never intentional but we still have people in the hospital who acquire an illness in the hospital.
"The prescribing of antibiotics is another example of something that we know causes harm to people in the long run.
"We have to work harder to ensure these things do no harm. Anything up to 20% of the health service actually does no good or does harm.
"Prudent medicine puts a new emphasis on system managements. There are ways in which the system needs to change.
The question to be asked of course is why this has been allowed to carry on for so long. The Health Service in Wales spends more per person than is spent in England yet we receive a service that is inferior, where waiting times are longer and ambulance response times abysmal.
This is not about cutting costs it is about providing a high class service at an affordable cost. Far too much money is being wasted under the control of the Welsh Labour Government - money that should be improving treatment and cutting waiting times.