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Polish Hospital Services

Volume 13: debated on Monday 16 November 1981

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asked the Prime Minister if she will respond to reports of the lack of medicine, drugs and surgical equipment in the Polish hospital services which have led to secondary infection and the deaths of children, by arranging for the shipment of equipment to Poland during the current crisis and destabilisation to relieve the pressures that arise in the Polish medical services.

The Government have demonstrated our support for the efforts of the Polish people to overcome their difficulties, both by our prompt response to the requests of the Polish Government for economic assistance and, through the European Community, by providing urgently needed supplies of food.We shall continue to respond to specific requests as far as it lies within our power to help. But we believe that, in the first instance, it is for the Polish Government to decide their priorities for assistance and to determine what best responds to Poland's needs. I am aware that many of the voluntary agencies in Britain have concentrated their efforts on raising funds for the supply of medicine and medical equipment to Poland to help meet the need to which the hon. Member refers.