MONMOUTH MP David Davies is to lead a parliamentary inquiry into cross-border health arrangements between England and Wales.

The Welsh Affairs Committee, which Mr Davies chairs, will examine the workings of the NHS for patients who rely on healthcare facilities on the other side of the border.

It will also look at arrangements for sharing services between local health boards and foundation trusts, as well as the impact of having different policies in England and Wales.

The short inquiry is a follow-up to the committee’s previous report on this matter in 2009.

Mr Davies said: “Many people are only just beginning to realise that the health service is no longer national.

“Instead, we have regional systems in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland where there are huge differences in what is on offer.

For example, we get free prescriptions in Wales but there is no access to a Cancer Drugs Fund and target waiting times are longer.”

He added: “Local people in Monmouthshire who were receiving treatment in English hospitals are no longer allowed to do so except in exceptional clinical circumstances.

“These issues are a cause of grave concern, especially in border counties like Monmouthshire, and we want to hear from those affected.”

The inquiry comes after the Prime Minister David Cameron recently referred to Offa’s Dyke as the ‘line between life and death’ at a Conservative Welsh party conference. The Welsh Affairs Committee is planning to hold a public meeting to hear from those with direct experience of cross-border healthcare.

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