Health board finances are on a “cliff edge” and it is almost “inconceivable” that services will not suffer without additional funding, according to the Leader of the Welsh Conservatives.

 

The claim came During First Minister’s Questions this afternoon.

 

Carwyn Jones has repeatedly claimed that health boards will not be bailed out, but appeared to indicate that he will be prepared to review that position in June if the situation worsens.

 

Figures have revealed that services for patients are at a distinct risk, with health board deficits in Wales now double those in England.

 

According to health board accounts, four of the main six health boards providing emergency care are currently in deficit, with a cumulative Welsh NHS budget deficit of 2.89% compared to 1.58% in the English NHS.

 

Speaking after First Minister’s Questions, Mr Davies warned that a deterioration of services was inevitable without additional cash.

 

He said:

 

“Welsh health boards are carrying damaging deficits into the new financial year and it is inconceivable that services will not suffer as a result.

 

“Health board deficits in Wales are now double those in England, and without additional funding something has to give.

“Finances are on a cliff edge, and the First Minister’s promise not to bail out health boards is untenable – unless the Welsh Labour Government is willing to allow services to close.

 

“With the pressures that already exist in the health service, what confidence can we have that services for communities across Wales are not going to deteriorate in the next 12 months?”


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