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Questions over hospital funding


15 February, 2008  

Opposition politicians in Wales have questioned the way in which £33m worth of new cash is being distributed to hospitals in the country.

The Assembly Government announced the funding boost to bring sites up to date with new machines and communications technology that allows hospitals to share information better.

Trusts can also spend the money on minor building work and better insulation to improve patient care.

Health minister Edwina Hart said the cash will help deliver a shake-up of emergency services and improve communication through greater access to telemedicine.

She said: “The allocation of this £33m will help the NHS deliver better services for patients, including access to diagnostic tests, such as scans.

“Our aim is to provide as many services as close to the patient as possible.

“The increasing use of telemedicine will reduce the need for patients to travel.”

But Liberal Democrat health spokeswoman Jenny Randerson said: “I will be asking the minister detailed questions about the bidding process because of the stark contrast between the more than £18m for mid and West Wales compared with less than £5m to south-east Wales.

“I will want to be reassured that the money has been distributed on the basis of clear clinical need rather than on a first come, first served basis.”

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