01/04/2017 BBC Wales Today


01/04/2017

News and weather from BBC Wales.


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Transcript


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Good Evening.

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Ten years of free prescriptions for everyone in Wales

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is a "long-term investment" in people's health.

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That's according to the Health Secretary Vaughan Gething -

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who says the policy has kept people out of hospital and cut

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overall NHS costs.

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But the Conservatives say the cost is still too high,

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and those who can afford it should pay for their medicine.

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Rebecca John reports.

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Wales became the first of the UK nations to make prescriptions

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free a decade ago today.

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Northern Ireland and Scotland have since followed suit.

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The Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething, says

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the policy is progressive, reducing hospital attendance

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and pressure on GPs.

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It's a celebration of our landmark policy that's

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made a real difference.

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People who used to worry about access to prescription

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medication, the cost of it, but a system that is much fairer.

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The old system didn't make sense for lots of people

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with chronic conditions.

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The income thresholds are much simpler.

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It's a cleaner system.

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And, actually, we think it's cost-effective too.

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The Welsh government says, in 2015, the cost of free

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descriptions was ?593 million.

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Only ?3 million more than the bill in 2007.

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But the Welsh Conservatives say apart from those with chronic health

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conditions higher rate tax should pay for their descriptions.

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Descriptions are a valuable part of the NHS.

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But what we should remember is there are huge pressures

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within the Welsh NHS, and actually, I don't think it's

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unreasonable for people who earn 40% tax to pay for their prescriptions

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When you can get Paracetamol on the NHS, and they cost 20 or 30p,

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surely, a small donation to pay for that would release more funds

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for valuable services in a service under pressure?

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The Welsh government says introducing a means tested system

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would take time and money.

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And there's no evidence it would lead to better outcomes.

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Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Liberal Democrats also

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support free prescriptions.

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Today prescription charges in England rose by 20p to ?8.60.

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But the Department of Health says due to exemptions,

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90% of prescriptions in England are also free.

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The operation is continuing through the weekend to recover

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a crashed helicopter in Snowdonia.

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The bodies of five people on board, who were all from the same family,

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were recovered yesterday.

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Poor weather and the terrain of the Rhinog mountains has been

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hampering the efforts.

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Police are keen to hear from anyone who may have seen or heard

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the helicopter in the Trawsfynydd area on Wednesday afternoon.

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A 28-year-old man is in a critical condition in hospital

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following what police have described as a serious assault in Bangor.

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It happened in the early hours of this morning outside the Peep

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nightclub on Dean Street in the city.

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A 26-year-old local man has been arrested and is being question

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on suspicion of assault.

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Officers are appealing for witnesses.

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Drivers are being advised to plan their journeys

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with the closure of one of the Brynglas Tunnels on the M4

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westbound near Newport later this evening.

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Traffic will be diverted until Monday morning.

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It's part of upgrading work and is the first of seven closures

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between now and the end of June affecting both of the tunnels.

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Let's turn to sport now and in football Cardiff

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City were beaten 3 - 1 at Wolves in the Championship.

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Newport County gave themselves some hope of avoiding relegation

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from League Two with a 1-nil win over Crawley.

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And there was a lunchtime kick-off for Wrexham in the National League.

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An early Olly Marx own goal saw them lose 1-nil to promotion-chasing

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Tranmere at the Racecourse.

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Onto snooker and Mark Williams is through to the final

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of the China Open.

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The 2-time former World Champion beat Hossein Vafayee 6-1

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in their semi-final in Beijing.

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Victory in tomorrow's final against Mark Selby will see Williams

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automatically qualify for the World Championships

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at the expense of fellow Welshman Ryan Day.

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Rugby and Cardiff Blues kick-off in just over an hour

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in their European Challenge Cup quarter final at Gloucester.

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Meanwhile , Ospreys players and staff had a run-out

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at the Principality Stadium earlier.

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They face Stade Francais in another quarter-final tomorrow.

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The match was switched away from the Liberty Stadium due

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to Swansea City's Premier League match at home to Middlesbrough

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which kicks-off tomorrow lunchtime.

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Before I go let's take a look at the weather and tonight any

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showers will ease leading to a dry night.

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It will be a little chillier than recently though with some

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mist or fog patches too.

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Tomorrow morning any of that early mist or fog will soon clear,

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leading to plenty of bright and sunny spells and it will feel

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warm in the light winds.

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Highs of 14 celsius. Before I go let's take a look

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We're back around the same time tomorrow, enjoy your evening.

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From all of us here, goodbye.

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