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East Anglian Rha (Holidaymakers)

Volume 130: debated on Monday 21 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will introduce a pilot National Health Service internal market experiment into the East Anglian regional health authority with due weight given to the annual population increase in the Great Yarmouth and Waveney district health authority caused by the influx of visitors and holidaymakers.

I understand that there is a good deal of interest, within the East Anglian region, in the possibility of mounting an experiment.I will ask the regional health authority chairman to ensure, if the experiment goes ahead, that account is taken of any particular local factors within the region.My hon. Friend may like to approach the regional chairman for further details.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his policy on allocating funds to East Anglian regional health authority to take account of the increased use of family practitioner and hospital facilities by the influx of summer holidaymakers every year; and if he will make a statement.

Our policy is to bring allocations to regional health authorities into line, over time, with targets calculated using the Resource Allocation Working Party formula to reflect each region's relative need for health care. These targets include an adjustment to take account of the past pattern of hospital treatment provided to patients from outside the region's own boundaries.Family practitioner services in the East Anglian regional health authority are provided under arrangements made by family practitioner committees. Payments are made to general medical practitioners for treating temporary residents—including holidaymakers—and for providing treatment in an emergency to people not on their list. Fees paid to general medical practitioners in the East Anglian regional health authority area in 1986–87 for treating temporary residents amounted to £525,383 and for emergency treatments to £90,896. This exlcudes the cost of drugs. Information on the proportion of these payments made in respect of holidaymakers is not separately available.