asked the Minister of Health to what extent the admission of Cornish residents to hospitals is being delayed because beds are occupied by visitors to the county who have been injured in road accidents.
I regret that I have no figures which would enable me to answer the hon. Member's Question.
Will the Parliamentary Secretary institute an inquiry? This question was raised at a recent meeting of the West Cornwall Hospital Management Committee, when the county medical officer of health said:
I can assure the hon. Lady that this is not a new problem."We are having more casualties over a longer period. They begin to rise earlier each year."
It would take a very considerable amount of time and money to conduct a detailed analysis such as the hon. Member suggests. I am aware of the problem of accidents; it is not peculiar to Cornwall but applies to all holiday resorts, and it is a seasonal problem.
Is my hon. Friend aware that I myself was an inmate of a Cornish hospital for eight months as a result of a road accident in the summer, and would she not agree that many patients in our hospitals are local residents?
Yes, but it is impossible to distinguish the figures. I am glad that my hon. Friend responded to the treatment available for him.
Because of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I propose to take the earliest opportunity of raising the matter on the Adjournment.