asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what share primary medical care will have in further expenditure on the National Health Service.
Primary medical care is mainly provided by general practitioners as part of the family practitioner services, and expenditure increases to meet the demands placed upon them. In 1976–77, general medical practice took up 6·7 per cent. of the revenue expenditure of the NHS in England; the current estimate is that this figure will be the same in 1981–82. The corresponding figures for expenditure on prescriptions issued by general practitioners are 9·8 per cent. and 11·0 per cent., respectively. The corresponding figures for health visiting, and district nursing services, which are provided by health authorities in association with general medical practice are 2·6 per cent. and 3·3 per cent. It is my right hon. Friend's intention to stress the increasing importance of primary health care within the NHS.