The Welsh Health Minister’s has announced today that she is to allocate an additional £82 million to the NHS.
The Minister is predictably denying that this is a bailout. The Minister has plugged a hole in the NHS’ finances by raiding its capital budget. I struggle to see how this can be described as anything other than a bailout.
While this Welsh Labour Government is happy to plod along issuing bailouts at the end of every year, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Welsh Government hasn’t got the slightest idea about what is happening in our NHS.
It is astonishing that the Minister described this announcement as good financial management. One has to wonder, if this is good financial management, what’s the Minister’s definition of bad financial management? In committee this morning the Health Minister did not rule out further bailouts for Health Boards that didn’t get extra cash last year, whilst at the same time incredibly claiming that she thinks LHB’s are going to break even. The Minister’s blindness to the problem would be farcical if the situation wasn’t so serious.
The Minister talks of unprecedented pressures and ticking time bombs, but then seems under the impression that simply reshuffling money around is going to solve all of the difficulties in our NHS. These major problems are not going to disappear but the Minister has completely lost a grip on her department.
The basic fact is that this Welsh Labour Government has completely mismanaged our health service and has left the finances of the NHS in complete ruins. Simply rejigging money around is not going to solve all of the problems in our NHS.