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Wales urged to sign up to national flu service

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Pressure is mounting on the Welsh Assembly Government to join up to the Department of Health’s National Pandemic Flu Service as thousands of people report symptoms of swine flu.

More than 2,300 people in Wales have contacted their GP complaining of symptoms of the virus. This has prompted shadow health minister Andrew RT Davies to call on the Assembly Government to rethink its decision not to join up to the online and telephone-based service, which is aimed at relieving the burden on GPs.

But the Assembly Government has refused to sign up to the service because swine flu has not spread as widely in Wales as it has in England. Wales will be allowed to join up to the service at a later date if necessary.

Mr Davies warned that health services could be ‘stretched to breaking point’ if the country did not opt into the service.

But health minister Edwina Hart defended the decision not to join up to the service, claiming that the rise in the number of swine flu cases over the past week is comparable to figures that would be seen with normal seasonal flu.

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