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NHS break-even claims are 'fiction'

Opposition parties have derided Welsh government claims that all health boards have broken even, calling the statements "fiction" and "fantasy", the BBC reports.

According to the BBC, Health Minister Mark Drakeford said in a statement that "all NHS organisations have met their statutory financial target to break-even in 2012-13". This followed a cash injection of £82m to seven local health boards in December to help balance the books.

Drakeford said that careful financial management of the budget ensured that the NHS could record “a small surplus of £61k” even though economic and budgetary pressures persisted. However, Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar said Drakeford’s suggestion was “complete and utter fiction”.

Millar said: "The Welsh NHS received an £82m bailout last December to prevent massive overspends at the end of the financial year and, even with this cash, some health boards - such as Powys and Betsi Cadwaladr - had to cancel thousands of planned operations to make ends meet, causing spiralling waiting lists and inconvenience for patients."