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Hospital Services (Cost)

Volume 645: debated on Monday 24 July 1961

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asked the Minister of Health if he will state in percentage terms the increased revenue cost of the hospital services in 1960–61 compared with 1955–56, ignoring wage, price and related increases and functions transferred from other departments.

Is not this a rather different picture from the picture given by the right hon. Gentleman at the time of the Health Service debate some months ago? Does he think that an expansion in the Health Service of 2 per cent, per annum is adequate?

The hon. Gentleman falls into the error of equating expansion with increase in expenditure. A good deal of improvement and expansion goes on by way of increased efficiency, so this figure does not represent the full improvement in the Service over the last five years.

Has my right hon. Friend noticed what the Plowden Committee said about the hospital services?