Health spending in Wales will rise by 4.1% next year, the draft budget has revealed.
This will largely be spent on day-to-day revenue funding for the NHS (£260m), while another £33m will be spent on infrastructure, maintaining the NHS estate and equipment.
However, there will be a reduction of £15m from other parts of the health budget, equalling a net figure for the Welsh NHS in 2016-17 of £278m.
How the money will be spent:
· £200m to support NHS services – hospitals, community and primary care.
· An extra £30m for older people and mental health services.
· £33.5m for new infrastructure in 2016/17, new equipment and the maintenance of the NHS estate.
· Protection of public health funding.
· An increase in the Intermediate Care Fund from £20m to £50m, which aims to help the NHS and social services to work together to support older and vulnerable people in their own homes and facilitate early discharge from hospital.
Jane Hutt, the finance minister, said that the aim was to protect services that the public care about, but it has been “another challenging settlement which has been set against the backdrop of successive real terms cuts to our budget over the last five years.”
But, Nick Ramsay, the shadow minister for finance, said: “Adjusted for age – and reflected by our increasingly ageing population – health spending per capita in Wales remains £50 lower than our counterparts in England. That’s a national scandal.”
He added: “This budget provides too little, far too late for our hardworking NHS staff.”