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Wednesday, April 02, 2008


An initiative to offer free health checks to the over-40s in England will not be replicated in Wales, we have been told, because according to the Welsh Assembly Government screening is already provided for people at high risk of chronic diseases. Really?

I am not aware of any publicity for such a scheme or even how it might be accessed. I suspect that I am not alone in that ignorance. Perhaps the Welsh Government can explain how widespread this provision is, where it is advertised and who is eligible to use it. Maybe they can also explain how one secures an appointment with a GP in the first place because in many places it is almost impossible to get a consultation.

It seems to me that the English scheme offers far more value in health terms and in promoting a preventative health agenda than many of the free schemes available here. If I had the choice of spending public money on free health checks or on free parking and universal free prescriptions, the health checks would win out every time.
Health checks? Lucky if you can get into my surgery when you're ill never mind for a health check!
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