Health board finances ‘teetering on the brink’ under Welsh Labour
The Labour-run Welsh NHS is set to record its biggest single-year deficit ever according to latest figures.
Four Welsh health boards will have overspent by a combined total of almost £163m at the end of this financial year.
Hywel Dda Health Board in West Wales has racked up more than 40% of the total overspend, while Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board in North Wales, which is in special measures and has been under direct control of the Welsh Government for the past two and a half years, records a higher overspend than last year - up from £30m to £36m.
The total health board deficit figures are below:
- Hywel Dda Health Board (West Wales) - £69.6m
- Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (North Wales) - £36m
- Abertawe Bro Morgannwg (South West Wales) - £30m
- Cardiff and Vale (South Wales) - £26.9m
Cwm Taf, Aneurin Bevan and Powys Health Boards have predicted they will balance their books at the end of this financial year.
Commenting, Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Secretary, Angela Burns AM, said:
“These soaring deficits show a health service in Wales which is teetering on the brink of a financial abyss.
“Failures by the Welsh Labour Government to initiate long-term planning measures for health boards and to break the culture of waste and inefficiency have all played their part in the mess our NHS now finds itself in.
“From Hywel Dda to Betsi Cadwaladr – which is in special measures and under direct Welsh Government control – the situation across Wales is getting worse and worse.
“There is a real risk that health boards will soon be forced to cut vital services in order to make savings, and it’s patients and staff who will be left paying the price.
“This once again raises very serious questions for Labour’s Health Secretary who seems to have run out of ideas and has promised not to bail out health boards.
“To avoid any further damage to services and public confidence in them, Vaughan Gething needs to instigate swift root-and-branch reforms of the health service focused on better planning, smarter spending and stronger public health messaging.”