Many of us start our lives with debt, usually on property, but this declines as we grow older. If we go on like we are in Health, the housing debt will be as nothing to the 4 UK Health Services debt in 10 years time.. The chancellor is rightly worried about debt, and the future looks bleak…(UK’s borrowing binge is worrying the Bank of England – Larry Elliott in the Guardian 27th March 2017) £50m for Hywel Dda board equates to approximately £156 per head today, and possibly £10,000 per head in 10 years. Expect more and more de-commissioning / covert rationing.
The boards are forecast to over spend by £146m this year.
In one case – Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board (ABMU) – the financial outlook is said to be “extremely challenging”.
The health board, which covers Swansea and Bridgend, said it was attempting to cut agency staff costs.
As well as ABMU there are overspends at Betsi Cadwaladr in north Wales, Cardiff and Vale board and Hywel Dda in mid and west Wales.
Betsi Cadwaladr’s deficit is now forecast to be £30m, Hywel Dda £49.9m, ABMU £35m and Cardiff and Vale £31m for the 2016-17 financial year.
The health boards will not face a bill to repay the money, but they will be expected to balance their books in the next financial year.
A spokesman for the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: “We have worked hard throughout the year, and worked closely with Welsh Government, to address our challenges, and we will continue to do so going forward.”
Stephen Foster, of Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “This is not the financial situation that we would want to find ourselves in and we are putting together significant plans to turn it around.”
Analysis by BBC Wales political editor Nick Servini
These figures show a dramatic deterioration in the finances of four out of Wales’ seven health boards.
They have also prompted a hard-hitting response from the Welsh Government which, until this point, has been keen to stress how they approach problems together.
The tone resembles the approach of the man in charge of the English NHS, Jeremy Hunt, who has not been afraid of calling out heath trusts he believes are under-performing.
The Welsh Government has called for a significant improvement in the financial performance.
That will be easier said than done in the face of intense pressure on these organisations.