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Press Release

Former Obama advisor visits Wales to tackle health and care waste

On 8th April Welsh health and care leaders met with Professor Don Berwick KBE, former advisor to Barack Obama, to discuss the urgent challenge of reducing waste in health and care.

With experts warning that 20% of all money spent on health and care is wasted globally[1], this event marked Wales’ commitment to delivering more efficient and resourceful services.

Speaking about what needs to be done, Don said:

“We need to focus every pound, every iota of our workforce energy, every minute of the day on actually meeting the needs of the people of Wales with respect to their health and healthcare and anything we do that doesn’t accomplish that – we can’t afford any more.”

Healthcare waste is not a problem that Wales faces alone, with experts estimating that $1.8tn[2] of global healthcare spending is wasted every year. Dr Helen Howson, Director of the Bevan Commission, who organized the event said:

‘With health and care needs increasing and resources diminishing we have a huge challenge ahead to ensure that we use our available resources wisely. Aneurin Bevan would have been shocked at the levels of waste we are seeing in our services today. But the innovation, commitment, and enthusiasm we are seeing in health and care leaders to address this demonstrates once again that Wales can lead the way to finding solutions that are fit for the future in health and care.’

As the world’s healthcare systems grapples with this challenging issue, all eyes are on Wales to provide the solutions.

For media enquiries, please contact Bevan Commission Communications Manager Hugh McCann:

[1] WEF_Transforming_Healthcare_2024.pdf (

[2] WEF_Transforming_Healthcare_2024.pdf (

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