Budget & Charges

MoneyThe National Health Service is mainly paid for from general taxation with a small proportion raised through national insurance contributions. There are a number of other options for funding health services including social insurance which is used in the vast majority of European countries and private insurance and payment at the point of delivery which shapes health care services in the United States.

NHS Wales receives its allocation as part of the process of negotiation between Westminister and the Welsh Government. The sum available for health and health services in Wales forms part of what is called the ‘block grant’ which is the total amount of money for all the areas for which the Welsh Assembly Government has responsibility since devolution. 


NHS Wales Funding

The NHS receives the majority of its funding from the Welsh Government to cover the day-to-day running costs of health services in Wales during each Financial Year.

This takes the following forms:

  • Revenue allocations to local health boards to secure hospital, community and primary care services for their resident populations
  • Capital allocations to local health boards and NHS Trusts for operational and strategic capital developments
  • Targeted funding for health improvement and other Welsh Government initiatives

The Statistical Directorate of the Welsh Government provides reports on NHS Expenditure and breakdown of NHS programme budgets by Local Health Board.


From April 1st 2007 the NHS prescription charge was abolished for people in Wales.

All patients registered with a Welsh GP, who get their prescriptions from a Welsh pharmacist, will be entitled to free prescriptions.

Welsh patients living in Wales but registered with a GP practice in England have been able to apply to their Local Health Board for an entitlement card. Cardholders are able to get their prescription dispensed for free providing they take it to a Welsh pharmacy to get it dispensed.

Along with free prescriptions, charges for wigs and appliances have been abolished. Patients who receive these services from an English NHS Trust should have their costs met by their Local Health Board. 
More information on optometric and dental charges, charges for non-residents and exemptions where applicable can be found on the Welsh Government's NHS Forms web page: