Friday 09 August 2019
The Policy & Resources Committee has been in discussion with the Committee for Health & Social Care on recommendations to introduce a wider range of NICE TA-approved drugs and non-drug treatments.
The Policy & Resources Committee recognises that the gap in the provision of drugs available in Guernsey compared to England is reaching a point where it is no longer acceptable. It is also clear that more funding will be needed by the Committee for Health & Social Care to cope with a wider range of growing pressures on services.
Finding more funds to provide for the ever growing demand in healthcare and better access to drugs will be a huge challenge for the community, particularly as the President of the Committee for Health & Social Care recently advised the States of Deliberation, that the aging population is creating, for the first time, a real, visible and significant increase in demand for their services. These pressures cannot be accommodated within the government's current Medium Term Financial Plan; but the Policy & Resources Committee knows too that many in the community have been under financial pressure for a number of years. On the other hand, unfortunately, we cannot live in a dream world where we imagine that this burden can simply be carried by others - the numbers are simply too large.
The Policy & Resources Committee agrees with the Committee for Health & Social Care that it is time for a serious conversation about how much and how the community is willing to pay for the services it wants or expects. That conversation needs to begin now. This is not something that can be resolved in the short time left in this States' term; but it will be a major challenge for the next Assembly as it develops the next iteration of the Future Guernsey Plan and the accompanying Medium Term Financial Plan. In the meantime, the Policy & Resources Committee understands HSC's desire to begin introducing NICE TA-approved drugs soon, and will consider options to provide an interim funding solution in the short term.