Wales’s Health Suffers in Money Short-fall

Figures released by Her Majesty’s Treasury this week show how far Wales is falling behind some other areas of the UK in health spending.

The figures show Wales dropping from third to sixth in the Treasury’s league tables for health expenditure within the space of six years.

Hywel Willams MP, said: “The current funding system does not work and our nation’s health is suffering as a result.” He added: “An independent report by Nuffield College, Oxford estimates Wales loses out to the tune of £620 million per year because the current formula is based on population rather than need.”

Wales scored the lowest percentage increase in health spending since 1998-9 with only 65 per cent, an increase of £559 per head, whereas the North East of England, the area most comparable to Wales in health terms, has seen an increase of 83 per cent.

The report also showed that capital expenditure in Wales for 2004-5 amounted to £110 million – only £36.73 per head – compared to Scotland’s £574 million – £113.33 per head, highlighting that while expenditure figures for Wales remain low, the figures for waiting times, infant death rates and long-term illnesses remain high.