Welsh Government unveils new genomics strategy

A new strategy aimed at putting Wales at the cutting edge of the global development of future generations of medical services has been unveiled by Health Secretary Vaughan Gething today (Welsh Government, 2017).

The Genomics for Precision Medicine Strategy, which is supported by £6.8m Welsh Government funding, sets out how Wales can capture the health and economic benefits of genomics.

New genetic and genomic technologies will allow scientists and healthcare professionals to develop a much more detailed understanding of the link between genes and health. In recent years there has been international recognition that these technologies have the potential to revolutionise medicine and public health.

The strategy will help develop new services and technologies to improve the diagnosis and treatment of complex illnesses including cancer, heart disease and rare diseases. Patients will benefit through improved diagnostics, reduced waiting times and better treatments.

Vaughan Gething said “The strategy will play a key part in developing a modern NHS in which we invest in health, research and education, a priority in our programme for government, Taking Wales Forward.

“We are providing leadership and funding to support skilled job creation and advances in research and development. It will also help us develop workforce skills and expertise that will help make Wales more attractive to international academics as a place to work and live.

“Our genomics strategy will help to create improved international academic and business links in addition to improved genetic and public health services delivered by NHS Wales.”

The Genomics for Precision Medicine Strategy, outlines key actions as part of a five to ten year genomics plan, and has been developed by a Welsh Government-led genomics taskforce, working with key stakeholders from academia, industry, the third sector, the NHS and the public.

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