Health Minister, Eluned Morgan, has welcomed more than half a billion pounds of new funding for health and social services in Wales to deal with COVID.
The Welsh Government has allocated £411m for ongoing costs of dealing with the pandemic until April 2022 and £140m for recovery and tackling waiting times.
The Minister said:
The COVID pandemic has had a massive impact on the NHS and social services in Wales and is still facing significant costs in dealing with it. I am therefore pleased to confirm an extra £411m for these costs, including the vaccination programme, testing, PPE, and new cleaning standards for infection control.
The knock-on effect from dealing with the pandemic has also been huge. Waiting lists have increased by more than 33% and are now at record levels. Getting back to where we were before the pandemic is going to take a lot of time and investment in new ways of working. So we are also providing an extra £140m to the NHS for this work.
£100m will be used to help health boards’ recovery plans, including speeding up the treatment of those who have been waiting the longest. While £40m is for equipment and adapting hospitals and other buildings to increase capacity for routine procedures, whilst maintaining COVID safe areas.
The money announced today is an addition to the £100m funding announced in May to support the Welsh Government’s Health and Social Services COVID Recovery Plan.
I recognise it is a huge task just to get back to where we were before the pandemic. However, we must also grasp this opportunity to adopt new ways of working and create a sustainable health and social care system that can meet the demands of the future.
Finance and Local Government Minister, Rebecca Evans, said today’s money was part of a package of funding to help Wales recover from the COVID pandemic.
This funding will help increase capacity in our hospitals and, crucially, help the NHS to move forward beyond the pandemic.
The funding is part of a wider package of funding which will be spent over the coming months to help us build the fairer, greener, stronger and ever more successful Wales that we all want for ourselves and for each other.