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Soldiers, British Cameroons (Medical Treatment)

Volume 643: debated on Wednesday 28 June 1961

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asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that a sick soldier was recently flown back from the British Cameroons because local hospital facilities were inadequate, despite hospital building undertaken for the Army there; what was the cost of flying this soldier to the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.

Private Simm, to whom I believe my hon. Friend refers, urgently needed specialist treatment not available in the Cameroons. He and four other patients were flown back at a cost of £2,500. We have a clear obligation to look after soldiers, and I make no apology for spending money to save lives. Moreover, although the individual cost may be high, it is cheaper to evacuate the more serious cases to the United Kingdom, than to provide comprehensive specialist facilities all round the globe. I am sure my hon. Friend will be glad to hear that Private Simm made a successful recovery.