New HiT for Wales

The new HiT (Health Systems in Transition) health system review for Wales has just been published. For several decades, Wales had a health system largely administered through the United Kingdom Government's Welsh Office. From 1999, responsibility for most aspects of health policy was devolved to Wales, resulting in increasing differences between the policy approach and framework in England and Wales. Health services in Wales are financed almost entirely out of general taxation and are therefore, largely free at point of use. This report reveals a system that generally provides high quality services and health outcomes facilitated by substantial real growth in health spending, although health inequalities still remain resistant to improvement. However, with the change in the financial climate, Wales is now facing a severe reduction in expenditure, and there is some concern that the health system is not financially sustainable in the longer term unless additional funds can be found to meet rising demands. The new HiT will be officially presented within the King's Fund Annual Conference 2012 in London on 28 November.