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MP's bid to change law on low-cost drugs blocked

Nick Thomas-Symonds MP

A Welsh MP has failed in his bid to change the law to free up a range of drugs to be prescribed.

Nick Thomas-Symonds had introduced a private member's bill to force ministers to licence 'off-patent drugs' to be used for conditions which include cancer, Parkinson's and MS. You can read more details by clicking here.

He'd won support from many in the medical profession and MPs from all parties in the House of Commons.

But the Health Minister Alistair Burt said the bill would send the wrong message and promised to find other ways of making the medicines more widely available.



Welsh bathing waters 'meet tough new standards'

Rhossili Bay is one of Wales' most popular beaches. Credit: Mike Egerton/PA Archive/PA Images

New EU water bathing results published today show all identified bathing waters in Wales have met new stricter European classifications for bathing water quality.

A new system for all EU member states was introduced in 2015 which aims to improve bathing waters across the EU.

82 of the 102 bathing waters in Wales achieved the higher classification of excellent, with 16 achieving good and 4 sufficient. No Welsh bathing water was classed as poor.

One of the biggest attractions for the millions of tourists coming to Wales every year is our beautiful coastline.

By meeting these tough new EU classifications all visitors to the Welsh seaside can enjoy the high bathing water quality they have come to expect when visiting Wales.

We now need to keep up the high standards that have been set so we can all continue to enjoy the environmental, social and economic benefits our bathing waters bring.

– Carl Sargeant AM, Natural Resources Minister

New MRI scanner 'will cut waiting times'

Credit: ITV News

The Welsh Government says a new 'open' MRI scanner at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd will cut waiting times for patients across North Wales.

The weight-bearing MRI unit – known as the G-Scan - means the hospital can scan patients in any position, from standing up to the traditional position of lying down.

The machine is an open magnet system rather than a traditional ‘tunnel’ system, it is ideal for claustrophobic patients. The MRI scanner will also cut electricity costs for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board by up to £50,000 a year.

I suffered from a fall at home around 10 months ago. The doctors at Glan Clwyd Hospital suspected a scaphoid fracture. But as these often don’t show up on X-rays, an MRI was suggested which I absolutely dreaded as I’d suffered extreme claustrophobia during past MRI scans.

For me, a closed MRI scanner is the equivalent to a torture chamber. When the hospital told me they had a new MRI machine which was open, I was ecstatic! The open MRI meant I only had to keep my hand still, not my whole body,so I could chat and relax throughout the procedure. A ligament problem was diagnosed, which is now on the mend.

– Ruthann Parker, patient from Rhyl.
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