NHS Wales

Health in Wales

Parent & Teacher Guidance
Health in Wales

NHS Wales is the National Health Service for Wales which is the responsibility of the Welsh Government and is publicly funded by the Government for the population in Wales.


The main principle of the National Health Service for Wales is to ensure 'good healthcare available to all, regardless of wealth’.


The NHS was established on 5th July 1948. The chief architect of the National Health Service was the Minister for Health and Welshman Aneurin Bevan. Next time you visit Cardiff, go along to Queen Street near the castle to see a bronze memorial honouring him for establishing the NHS.


Before the NHS was set up, healthcare  was provided based on your ability to pay for it privately. People had to pay for various health services and many suffered because of their lack of money and poverty.


A number of different services are provided by NHS Wales including smoking cessation, antenatal screening, and routine treatment from coughs to complex surgery e.g. open heart, cancer screening, accident and emergency treatment and end of life care.


The Welsh Government's Department for Health and Social Services manages NHS Wales with a Cabinet Minister called Vaughan Gething (https://llyw.cymru/vaughan-gething-as ) who reports as Minister for Health and Social Serices to the First Minister.


NHS Wales is the largest employer in Wales with over 90,000 staff working for the service. The NHS has a budget of £8.9 billion and 75% of the budget goes towards staff salaries.


In addition to staff directly employed by NHS Wales  there are other health professions supporting the service including dentists, opticians, pharmacists and nearly 2,000  people who work mainly in primary care settings.


The NHS Wales annual budget accounts for around 50% of the total Welsh Government budget.


NHS Wales delivers its services through Health Boards and Trusts. What is the name of the Health Board in your area? What services are available to support you?

1 billion is 1 thousand million (1,000,000,000).
Cabinet Minister
Cabinet ministers are Members of the Senedd in Wales. They are part of the government and make policy decisions about national issues that affect our lives in Wales.
Finance is the management of money and includes activities such as investing, borrowing, lending, budgeting and saving.
Service is the act of helping or doing work for someone.
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