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Hospitals (Private Patients)

Volume 480: debated on Thursday 9 November 1950

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asked the Minister of Health (1) whether he will consider allowing patients who occupy private wards, if they so desire, to have deducted from the charges made for such private wards the amount which would be chargeable to public funds if they were to receive treatment in a public ward;(2) if he is aware of the different amounts charged by each hospital in the country for treatment in their private wards; what is the reason for this differentiation; and whether there is any possibility of the charge being made more uniform.

Under the National Health Service Act, 1946, the charge for a private bed at any hospital must be such as to cover the whole cost of the accommodation and services provided for the patient at that hospital. I have no power to remit any part of this cost, or to introduce uniform charges at hospitals where, in fact, the costs differ.