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Hospital Services (Expenditure)

Volume 464: debated on Thursday 12 May 1949

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asked the Minister of Health if the proposed cut of seven per cent. in the expenditure of the hospital service will apply to the administrative staffs of the regional hospital boards also.

Regional hospital boards have been asked to prepare, within a reduced total sum in each case, revised estimates of the whole of their expenditure including the cost of their own administrative staff. The boards have been instructed to adjust their estimates so that the interests of patients are not affected.

Could my right hon. Friend say whether the regional boards were informed that these cuts are to be carried out even if they mean a less effective service to the public, and is it the intention to insist on them when they do?

It is neither my intention to close down hospital beds nor to prevent the opening of additional beds where that is practical, as a consequence of the attempt to operate these reductions.