Guernsey health bosses consider increased charges to make up financial shortfall

Deputy Al Brouard said the health department is 'somewhere like £4 million adrift on an over £200 million budget'. Credit: ITV Channel

Guernsey residents may face increased prescriptions and A&E treatment charges as the island's health bosses look to reduce the department's financial shortfall.

The President of the Committee for Health and Social Care (HSC) is reviewing the department's funding model in light of increasing service demand.

Guernsey also faces a £30 million overspend from redeveloping the Princess Elizabeth Hospital.

At a recent scrutiny meeting, HSC considered scrapping free prescriptions for the over-65's, reviewing the subsidies for doctors' appointments and increasing the fees for Accident and Emergency.

However, Committee President, Deputy Al Brouard, was quick to clarify there are no active plans to remove subsidies and any decisions would come from Policy and Resources, as part of its overall review of potential savings opportunities.

Deputy Brouard explained: "We're going to have to look at some of those charges to raise the money as we are somewhere like £4 million adrift on an over £200 million budget.

"We've got some very difficult choices to make: how do we fund our care for the future?

"Is that going to be by you privately going into your pocket or by a universal offer through your taxes? I'd much prefer it if it's through your taxes."

Deputy Marc Leadbeater said: 'We've got important pieces of work to do before the end of this term, but I look forward to the challenge.' Credit: ITV Channel

Deputy Marc Leadbeater was elected the new Vice President for HSC on Thursday 2 May.

Regarding the suggestions made by the President to scrap services, Deputy Leadbeater said there were "lots of transformational pieces" being considered.

He explained: "We're trying to look at ways of doing things more efficiently.

"But ultimately, as the President said, we're going to have to raise more money, as health care is getting more and more expensive, and we're getting more service users coming through the door year on year."

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