asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware of the increasing shortage of hospital accommodation in Fife and of the anxiety caused to patients, medical practitioners and the East Fife Hospital Board on account of the delay in proceeding with the building of the new general hospital at Cameronbridge; and what steps he is taking to deal with this matter.
I am fully aware of the need for additional hospital accommodation in this area, and I have already given the hon. Member particulars of the steps that are being taken towards the erection of the new hospital.
Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that the particulars to which he refers have not been considered by the authorities in Fife and are not regarded as satisfactory? Does he realise that for a population approaching 250,000, no more than 200 beds are available for acute cases.
I am not certain about the figures, but the hon. Gentleman must appreciate that when one proposes to erect a hospital of 500 beds, most careful planning must take place. I am in the closest consultation with the local people concerned.