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Tories want elected commissioners to run Welsh NHS

The Welsh Conservatives are calling for locally elected health commissioners to take over from health boards, which they say are subject to political patronage as their appointed by ministers.

Communities across Wales have felt powerless to influence the decisions which have been made about health services in their areas. The Welsh NHS must become more accountable to those it serves and more responsive to the taxpayers who fund it.

Elected Health Commissioners will put the patient voice at the heart of decision making in the NHS, transferring decision making over health services from central government and into the hands of the people.

You vote them in, and you vote them out - that's our vision for patient voice in the Welsh NHS.

– Welsh Conservative Leader Andrew RT Davies AM

The Conservatives claim that the new system would lead to greater openness, as the commissioners would be publicly answerable when something went wrong in the running of the health service. Labour have dismissed the proposal as a waste of money.

This month the Welsh Labour Government announced nearly half a billion pounds of extra funding to secure our safe, modern NHS, free at the point of use. Now the Tories want to cream off some of that money, take it away from the front-line and put it into the pockets of Health Commissioners. What planet are they living on? Welsh Labour is on the side of patients and NHS staff, we want health money spent on health services, not another layer of bureaucracy.

– Welsh Labour spokesman