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Ambulance Service, Oldham (Expenditure)

Volume 527: debated on Thursday 13 May 1954

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asked the Minister of Health the saving in public funds estimated to be achieved in the area of the Oldham Hospital Management Committee and in England and Wales, respectively, as a result of his recent circular advocating limited use of ambulance services.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health
(Miss Patricia Hornsby-Smith)

The object of the circular is to ensure that any extravagance which may exist is eliminated. Until action under the circular is well advanced my right hon. Friend has no means of estimating what saving there may be.

Will the Parliamentary Secretary bear in mind that it is the essence of an ambulance service that it should be ambulatory and not static? A static ambulance with a static driver is not economical. Is it not a fact that this precious circular lists 19 separate ways in which it is suggested that a few odd coppers' worth of service can be saved in dealing with the maimed, the halt, the sick and the dying?

That is an entirely false interpretation of my right hon. Friend's circular. The aim is to eliminate extravagance and not to limit proper demands.