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Renal Dialysis

Volume 928: debated on Friday 18 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will investigate the claim by Dr. Douglas Briggs, consultant in charge of the kidney unit at the Western Infirmary, Glasgow, that patients are going to die because of the shortage of funds for kidney machines; and whether he will take urgent action, if necessary, to remedy the situation.

My right hon. Friend is aware of the problem facing the Greater Glasgow Health Board in meeting the demand for renal dialysis arising in the West of Scotland as a whole. The responsibility for determining the priority to be attached to the development of this service is for the Health Board itself, which is currently spending about £500,000 a year on the service including £320,000 on home dialysis alone, compared with £100,000 in 1973–74. At the same time, the particular difficulty which the rapid growth of this service is creating is fully recognised and my right hon. Friend has recently made limited arrangements for the cost of the further extension of home dialysis to be shared between health boards in 1977–78.