Clause 3 — Functions of the Centre

Part of Health (Wales) Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:41 pm on 9th January 2003.

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Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Conservative, Leominster 3:41 pm, 9th January 2003

I am grateful for the Minister's intervention.

I am also worried about the excessive bureaucracy that the Bill will add to the already horrific amount in the NHS in Wales. Health spending in Wales is significantly higher than in England, yet Wales has worse health outcomes. The Labour-Liberal Democrat Welsh Assembly Government have failed to meet their targets for waiting lists, which continue to increase. Welsh consultants rejected the Government's offer of a new contract because they were worried that the waiting list targets distorted clinical priorities.

The shortage of funding for Welsh patients who seek treatment in England has threatened the principle of treating patients according to clinical priority. Shortages of care home places and delayed discharge are also significant problems in Wales. There are also many GP vacancies. A truly Welsh health Bill would deal with those matters and strengthen the excellent work of the staff, doctors, nurses and managers who work in Wales. A Welsh health Bill of which we could all be proud would put patients first.