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Hospital Schemes, Birmingham

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 3 March 1949

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16.

asked the Minister of Health if, in view of his request for reductions in the estimates for Regional Hospital Boards, 1949–50, he will keep in view the high standard of hospital administration in Birmingham and the various schemes in process for expansion and development, and will consider representations from the Regional Hospital Board on the limits within which economies can be effected.

While I thank the Minister for his reply may I ask are we to assume that in the administration of this country's hospitals our medical service will always take precedence?

I do not know whether the hon. Member has the permission of his Party to make that request.

Is not this a direct attempt to slash our hospital services?

Does my right hon. Friend agree, while, if need be, acknowledging the high standard of administration in Birmingham, that there are some areas with a legacy from the past of a low standard of administration, whose estimates should be reduced least, and will there be some elasticity in this matter and not a flat-rate reduction over the whole country?

It is not a flat-rate reduction, but a reduction which takes into account the hospital needs of each particular area.