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Health Minister: £82m health board fund 'isn't a bailout'

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The Health Minister has announced £82m ‘contingency funding’ for local health boards but denies it’s a bailout.

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The minister, who’s repeatedly said there’ll be no bailout for local health boards, says the cash will deal with ‘unprecedented pressures’

Lib Dems attack 'another review into ambulance service'

Welsh Liberal Democrats have criticised the Health Minister's announcement of a comprehensive review of the Welsh Ambulance Service. Lib Dem leader Kirsty Williams said:

This will be the ninth review in six years. I have no confidence that the Health Minister will be able to ensure that the people of Wales will have an ambulance service that meets the needs of the population.

The Ambulance service is doing a very difficult job and that is exacerbated by the incompetence of Labour’s poor handling of our health service.

It is shameful that our Ambulance Trust has had to wait eight months before it was given a final budget. People across Wales, in all walks of life, will know that organisations, however big or small, cannot work to the best of their potential if they do not have a set budget. It beggars belief that the only people who don’t understand this is the Welsh Labour Government. Once again the Welsh Labour Government is getting the basics wrong.

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Health minister volunteered to face committee over emails row

by Adrian Masters

Following the decision of the Assembly's health committee to question Lesley Griffiths next week, sources close to the minister are determined to head off any opposition claims that she's being 'dragged' before the committee.

The sources insist that 'it was her offer, she volunteered to appear before them, she's on the front foot on this.'

Opening of multi-million pound Cardiff health centre

Lesley Griffiths (second left) at the opening of the new centre at Loudoun Square
Health Minister Lesley Griffiths AM (second left) at unveiling of the new health centre Credit: Tamsin Eames / ITV News

The new Butetown Health Centre has been officially opened in Cardiff. Health Minister Lesley Griffiths AM was there at the unveiling of the multi-million pound development.

The new Butetown Health Centre
The Loudoun Square development includes a health centre, community pharmacy, social services and sheltered housing facilities Credit: Tamsin Eames / ITV News
The old Butetown Health Centre
Abestos is being removed from the old Butetown Health Centre nearby Credit: Tamsin Eames / ITV News

Conservatives launch counter-attack on Health Minister over cancer drugs

by Adrian Masters

Welsh Conservatives have dismissed the Health Minister's attack on their claims about the lack of availability of 24 cancer drugs. You can read what she said here. Now Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar has issued this statement.

The minister’s relentless refusals of what would be a life-prolonging policy are baffling.

The independent research - which has clearly not been properly read by the minister - makes it clear that these drugs are not routinely available in Wales.

Consequently, patients here are five times less likely to obtain them than English patients who have access to a cancer drugs fund.

That’s unfair. I want to see an end to this divide – along with thousands of cancer patients and their families - and I don’t understand why the minister does not support this view.

According to the Rarer Cancers Foundation, a drugs fund could cost as little as 3.3 million pounds, an amount that the first minister himself has acknowledged is small fry compared to the overall health budget.

The Welsh Conservatives believe their campaign matches concerns of voters. They're not going to give up on this line of attack, in fact expect to see it stepped up and intensified over the coming months.

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Health Minister discussing care for newborn babies

The Health Minister Lesley Griffiths is appearing before the National Assembly's Children and Young People Committee this morning to discuss plans for neonatal care in Wales. There have been fears about the future of services for newborn babies with the planned reorganisation of the health service.

At an evidence session earlier in the year consultant neonatologists described how they were constantly 'skating close to the wire' with 100% occupancy of special care incubators and instances of mothers and babies being transferred to England as there were no facilities for them in Wales.

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