1. ITV Report

Calls for 'fairer' cancer funding in Wales

A family from Cardiff is paying £75,000 for a cancer treatment which is available for free in England.

Elaine May has malignant melanomas, but doctors think a new drug could help extend her life.

The treatment hasn't been approved yet by the health watchdog NICE so it is not available on the NHS.

However, if Elaine lived in England she could get funding for the treatment from the Cancer Drugs Fund, which helps English patients in such circumstances.

As there is no equivalent fund in Wales, Elaine and her husband Geoff are having to pay for the drug themselves from their life savings.

I feel as if we are being discriminated against. It's made life quite difficult the last few months because we have applied twice for funding unsuccessfully, which has delayed the treatment.

– Elaine May, cancer patient

It's a subject that has angered the family. They believe there should be the same system for funding drugs in Wales and England.

It's very difficult to understand. We pay exactly the same taxes as those people in England, yet we are being denied a life-saving drug.

– Geoff May, Elaine's husband

But the Health Minister for Wales Lesley Griffiths believes the system in place in Wales is better than in England, as money is not diverted from other areas of the NHS.

I don't believe the Cancer Drugs Fund is fair. I know we have one in England and they say it's £200 million, but it's not new money, it's money that's been taken from other parts of the health service. The way we do it, we actually spend £5 per head more on cancer treatment than they do in England.

– Lesley Griffiths AM, Health Minister

The Health Minister added that the system was reassessed in the Spring and that the situation is being constantly monitored.