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Nhs Expenditure

Volume 84: debated on Monday 21 October 1985

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9.

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the expenditure on the National Health Service in Wales for each fiscal year since 1978 in 1985 prices.

As the answer contains a number of figures I shall, with permission, circulate it in the Official Report. But, taking account of general inflation, as measured by the GDP market price deflator, expenditure on the National Health Service in Wales at 1984–85 prices rose from £710·8 million in 1978–79 to £862·0 million in 1984–85.

How does the Minister equate the propaganda from his Department and the Department of Health and Social Security about maintaining the level of expenditure in the NHS with the real experience of those of us who during the recess have visited hospitals, spoken to Health Service workers and had the privilege of attending massive public meetings in our constituencies and elsewhere at which objections have been raised to proposals for hospital closures and changes in the ambulance service? Why are health authorities in Wales going through these consultation exercises on closure proposals if there is not a real financial crisis in the NHS?

The consultations to which the hon. Gentleman refers are part of the management process of health authorities in organising their priorities. He should know that five major hospital schemes have been completed since 1979, which is evidence of the Government's commitment and that of my right hon. Friend to the NHS in Wales.

Will my hon. Friend accept that there is a warm welcome for the expansion of the NHS, especially the significant increase in bone marrow transplant operations at the University hospital of Wales in my constituency?

The answer to my hon. Friend's question is yes. My right hon. Friend made an announcement on 17 October confirming the plan to set up a bone marrow transplant unit at the University hospital of Wales. This is an enormously important activity and we shall be monitoring the initiative closely.

I congratulate the Under-Secretary of State on his appointment, and I thank his predecessor for his courtesy. Will the Under-Secretary of State heed the SOS from Mid-Glamorgan, Gwynedd and South Glamorgan? Are not patient services at risk? Should not more cash be made available to the health authorities in Wales?

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his kind words. He has referred to the shortage of resources for health authorities in Wales. I said earlier that Gwynedd's resources had increased by 30 per cent. Mid-Glamorgan's resources have increased by 19 per cent. The first phase of the Deloitte report has been completed and the Mid-Glamorgan health authority will have to consider it. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I will monitor the position closely.

Following are the figures

The expenditure on the NHS in Wales at 1984–85 prices is as follows:

Year

Expenditure (£m)

1978–79710·8
1979–80712·0
1980–81770·8
1981–82798·0
1982–83819·9
1983–84833·0
1984–85862·0
Actual expenditure has been adjusted to take account of general inflation as measured by the GDP market price deflator.