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Responding to the Nuffield Trust report, Health Minister Mark Drakeford said the NHS is facing a number of challenges:
The Nuffield Trust report says if the NHS does not receive additional funding, it would have to improve productivity at a record rate and sustain it for a period of time in order to close the financial gap of £2.5bn by 2025/26.
This would have to be at a rate not seen in the history of the NHS or other countries' health systems.
Adam Roberts, lead author and Senior Analyst at the Nuffield Trust said:
“Our analysis reveals, for the first time, the scale of the task ahead regarding the Welsh NHS’s finances.
"Money for the service is already tight – NHS funding is likely to be 3.6% lower in real terms at the end of the next financial year than it was in 2010/11 – but the big unknown is what will happen after the 2015 spending review.
The pressures facing the NHS in Wales outlined in the report include:
- Population growth
- Longer life expectancy
- Rising number of prescriptions
- Staff wages
Pressures on the NHS in Wales mean it could face a funding gap of £2.5bn by 2025/26, according to a report by the Nuffield Trust think tank.
The research suggests the shortfall - the result of 'rising costs' and 'tight' public finances - would occur if funding only rises in line with inflation after 2015/16.