THE Welsh health minister announced a funding boost extra funding of £3.5million yesterday [Friday, July 18] to go towards reducing inequalities in local communities.

Mark Drakeford AM, said primary healthcare services across Wales are set to get a boost to deliver a wide-range of services locally rather than depending on hospitals.

The funding, which will be made available from this year, will also be used to develop primary care teams and provide eye care services closer to home.

Professor Drakeford said the money would also help to create a workforce to use GPs’ time more effectively and train more advanced nurses, therapists and pharmacists to work alongside GPs.

Because of the funding, work can be made towards reducing premature deaths from cardiovascular disease in deprived communities.

Professor Drakeford said: “We have a health service which is free at the point of need but that doesn’t mean that it is free of obligation – we all have a duty to take responsibility for our own health and to use our health services appropriately.

“This new funding will help realise our ambition to create a strong, highly-trained primary care workforce, which can deliver a wide-range of services in local communities, reducing our dependence on hospital-based care.